Government economic leaders are counting on a stimulus package in their forecasts, but we don’t have one, and they can’t make it happen.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress to discuss what more could be done to help the 11 million unemployed and continued economic lag. Both indicated that the stimulus packages we did have worked just fine and dandy, given the stock market recovered from Monday’s loss and made further gains on Tuesday. The Fed is doing its part by keeping interest rates low. Mnuchin is working to facilitate a stimulus with Congress, but he cannot force a passing vote. But no one can agree on a next step, and perhaps they won’t until the stock market takes a dive or the latest round of airline layoffs shows some pain that cannot be ignored.
It’s a little comical that Congress is asking these two guys at all when the stimulus is really up to them. It brings to mind the scene from the movie Spaceballs where the three leaders yell from one to the next: “Do something!”