The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread rapidly, and economies around the world are feeling the pain. U.S. stocks have been reeling and early economic data point to a recession for the U.S. economy.
The U.S. government needs to act swiftly and decisively, according to Todd Buchholz, former White House director of economic policy under President George H.W. Bush.
“There is no doubt that businesses are hurting, terribly, large businesses and small businesses. The service sector, in particular,” Buchholz said Monday on Yahoo Finance. “The government is desperately going to need to help the service sector — restaurants, hotels [and the] cruise ship industry.”
The current environment is different from any previous recession or depression, Buchholz argued. “This is a problem where we have a biological disaster and a government that is essentially telling companies, ‘Do not do business now.’”
With consumer spending representing 70% of the economy, Buchholz explained that it is imperative to get the U.S. consumer out and spending money as quickly as possible. He suggested that the government give every American household a pre-paid debit card loaded with $500 to be used starting July 1. The money could be used to go to restaurants, take a trip to Alaska or a hotel trip, Buchholz said.
“We need to truly make America not just great again but fun again. Obviously, this virus has taken all the fun out of normal life and out of the economy.”
Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.
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