President Donald Trump pulled the plug on a coronavirus relief package Tuesday, tweeting that he would sign a bill after the election.
For months now, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been going back and forth over a plan, with as much a $1 trillion difference between their proposals. One key issue: help for state and local governments, which are facing a $155 billion deficit, according to Brookings Institution economist Louise Sheiner.
“State and local governments mostly have balanced budget requirements, so they are not allowed to borrow to finance their operations,” Sheiner said. “When revenues fall, they have to make it up somehow — either by raising taxes or much more likely by cutting spending.”
On today’s show, Sheiner will walk us through the role state and local economies play in the larger economic picture and what their needs are in a recession that looks very different from 2008. Finally, we’ll ask her: How worried should local workers be right now?
“Well … so much depends on the election,” Sheiner said, with a laugh.
That ended up being quite prescient — about an hour after we taped this interview, Trump announced there would be no aid deal until after Election Day.
Later in the show, we’ll talk about vaccines, K-shaped recoveries and what it means to get “Zucked.” Plus, Broadway producer Eva Price answers the Make Me Smart question.
When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week: Agatha Christie, Warren Buffet and haunted houses. Spooky. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here.
Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:
- Sheiner’s research on the impact this recession is having on state and local economies
- “With Washington Deadlocked on Aid, States Face Dire Fiscal Crises” from The New York Times
- Kai’s interview with Sheiner in March
- “Joint Chiefs in quarantine after Coast Guard admiral tests positive for coronavirus, Pentagon says” from The Washington Post
- “White House Blocks New Coronavirus Vaccine Guidelines” from The New York Times
- “Exclusive: Moderna vaccine trial contractors fail to enroll enough minorities, prompting slowdown” from Reuters
- “Toxic Positivity: The unexpected killer of creativity in the workplace” by Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez
- Kai’s interview with Price from yesterday
- Finally, this jam:
Finally: We need your voice memos! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood to answer! Here’s how to do it.