Somehow, policy makers slid from “never waste a crisis” to “everything is a crisis,” a development that is particularly irksome during an actual crisis.
by Katherine Mangu-Ward
“We need to act big,” declared Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a February 4 interview with Good Morning America about COVID spending. The next day Vice President Kamala Harris took those words to heart, wielding her tie-breaking vote to push a package worth nearly $2 trillion through the split Senate, ignoring the official Republican counterproposal to spend a mere $618 -billion.
But the right was far from united behind that smaller (yet still massive) package. The same morning Yellen was on TV, conservative columnist David Brooks was in The New York Times declaring “Biden Is Right To Go Big.” This, of course, was after outgoing President Donald Trump left the country with budget deficits so large that the y-axis on every chart had to be adjusted.