America's Audacious Plan To Rescue The Economy
SME Magazine Singapore|Issue 14, 2021
Last month, the United States Congress signed off on a US$1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan that will have far-reaching effects on millions of Americans, as well as shake up the world economy.

The massive stimulus package is the keystone in President Joe Biden’s effort to dig the US economy out of the pandemic-induced doldrums. The American Rescue Plan, as it is known, is unprecedented in its scope, coverage, and ambitiousness.

Its goals, according to the White House, are “investing in America, creating millions of additional good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis, advancing racial equity, and building back better than before.”

EXACTLY HOW BIG IS 1.9 TRILLION DOLLARS?

It’s big. To put it in context, Biden’s American Rescue Plan alone is larger than most countries’ annual economic output, running slightly behind Italy and ahead of Brazil according to 2019 data from the World Bank.

And it is only the latest US measure. In December, Congress passed a US$900 billion relief bill, on top of more than US$2.5 trillion of aid authorized during President Donald Trump’s final full year in office.

If the US appears to have spent more on pandemic relief, that’s because it has. But seen against the still-massive US economy, that is understandable. The US simply has more to spend.

As a percentage of GDP, the US aid response comes up to 27.09 percent (including aid under the Trump and Biden administrations). That is comparable to Singapore’s stimulus (27.05 percent) but behind Germany (35.87 percent) and Japan (54.53 percent).

WHY IS THIS STIMULUS SO SPECIAL?

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