Joe Biden goes on offense, campaigns in Georgia
Joe Biden is telling Americans to “clear the decks for action” on everything from the coronavirus pandemic to the economy if he is elected president. (Oct. 27)
As tens of millions of Americans prepare to cast their ballots this week, it’s worth noting how President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden view the economy’s health.
“Make sure you vote properly,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Oct. 26. “He’s going to destroy your economy,” he said of Biden.
Three days later, Biden said of Biden, “Now he’s squandering that economy like he squandered everything else. But we can build back and we can build back better with an economy that begins to reward work, not wealth.”
At USA TODAY Money we’ve focused our coverage on how the coronavirus-fueled recession has affected regular Americans. Here’s what you need to know about the state of jobs in the U.S., our economy, talks of another stimulus package, the stock market, and small business assistance.
By Paul Davidson, Charisse Jones and Jessica Menton
“Overall, the nation has recovered slightly more than half the 22.2 million jobs shed in March and April as businesses restarted and brought back many furloughed workers. But job growth has slowed substantially in the past few months. Some businesses have closed for good. And recouping the remaining 10.8 million lost jobs is expected to take far longer.
“While many of those whose struggles USA TODAY documented are now worse off, some have finally landed full- or part-time jobs, easing their distress or providing hope.”
By Paul Davidson
“A V-shaped rebound is when the economy contracts sharply but bounces back just as dramatically. …A rebound that resembles a K occurs when some parts of the economy bounce back sharply while others stumble. That is happening now and in more than one way.
“Another way to look at the economy’s split personality is by income level. Low-income workers in service industries such as restaurants and retail continue to struggle while professionals who can work from home remain largely unscathed. Wealthy Americans, meanwhile, are benefiting from the stock market’s rally from its pandemic-induced crash earlier this year, as (Joe) Biden pointed out.”
By Jessica Menton
“Congress hasn’t approved additional coronavirus relief since March, when both chambers came to bipartisan compromises on a handful of bills that totaled more than $3 trillion, including one-time $1,200 checks to Americans and a $600 weekly unemployment boost. But most of that relief dried up this summer as Republicans and Democrats continue to spar over another round of aid.
“We at USA TODAY reached out to our audience and asked them what they wanted in a stimulus bill. About two-thirds of respondents said they wanted a second round of $1,200 direct payments, and roughly one-quarter of them said they needed additional supplemental unemployment aid.
“To be sure, even if the White House and Democrats strike a deal, Congress still faces challenges on passing legislation through the Republican-held Senate, where members have expressed hesitancy at spending trillions of dollars on COVID-19 relief.”
By Jessica Menton
“Stocks have typically thrived under legislative gridlock in Washington, and a split Congress has historically been the best scenario for investors.
“Since 1950, the average annual stock return for the broad S&P 500 stock index was 17.2% under a split Congress, according to LPL Financial. It falls to 13.4% when Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and drops to 10.7% when Democrats control both chambers.
“That suggests that markets may prefer divided power come November because it would make it harder for lawmakers to undo policy measures already in place, experts say. The Republicans currently control the Senate and Democrats the House.”
By Ledyard King and Nicholas Wu
“Senators are in discussions to revamp the (Paycheck Protection Program) so that smaller businesses could apply for a second loan, with Republicans saying those with up to 300 workers should be eligible and Democrats proposing a cap of 100 employees.
“Many businesses have credited the program with keeping them alive when much of the economy closed down in the spring. But the need for such assistance has been alleviated somewhat by the decision by many state and local governments to ease social distancing restrictions.”