The Country Can’t Afford the Democrats’ Coronavirus Relief Plan

As we have seen in the past few relief packages, Democrats in Congress have shown their willingness to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext for endless spending. The House’s passage of the HEROES Act was no different.

For weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her ideological allies have laughed off concerns about the consequences of running up trillions of dollars in additional federal debt. Pelosi and others have maintained that anyone who lifts a finger in opposition to the bill hopes to prolong economic suffering. The assertion that another multitrillion-dollar stimulus bill would assist America’s economic recovery is baseless. In reality, the opposite is true.

According to an analysis by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan and FreedomWorks economist Stephen Moore, the provisions contained within Pelosi’s stimulus bill could result in as many as 10 million unemployed workers not returning to their jobs in 2020. While some federal spending is necessary to combat the economic difficulties that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the irrationality of recent proposals cannot be overstated. The HEROES Act, with a price tag of over $3 trillion, would do far more harm than good if signed into law.

From canceling countless billions of dollars in student loan debt to offering stimulus payments to illegal immigrants, Democrats are touting their own generosity with taxpayer money. This doesn’t even touch on the nearly $1 trillion in proposed bailouts to state and local governments, a policy that punishes fiscal responsibility in the name of giving assistance to groups they view as their dependents.

Additional coronavirus-related spending is inevitable. What is not inevitable, however, is trillions of more dollars being spent on matters entirely unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic. Options such as a payroll tax cut would help get relief to front-line workers now and encourage businesses to hire new workers in an effort to get our economy back on track. Our budgetary woes will only continue amid a recession, but at the very least, Congress should be making a concerted effort to curb spending wherever possible. If legislators who claim to believe in limiting debt increases do not stand firmly against bills such as the HEROES Act, they deserve to face the consequences at the ballot box.

States that have allowed themselves to run up debt in hopes of receiving a federal bailout should not be rewarded. People who are in the United States unlawfully should not be eligible to receive a stimulus check. Continuing to give people $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits is unsustainable and disincentivizes employees from returning to work.

If these statements were more widely accepted among members of Congress, the price tag of the next stimulus bill would likely be less than half of what Democrats want. Unfortunately, Democrats have committed not to let this crisis go to waste, as the former mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, once insisted we should never do. They are playing into fear to grow the reach of the federal government.

For the sake of future generations, Congress must accept that another multitrillion-dollar spending package stuffed with Democratic legislative priorities is not the answer to America’s economic struggles. If the HEROES Act or anything resembling it becomes law, the public will be paying the price for years to come.

Noah Wall is an executive vice president at FreedomWorks.