Democrats' destructive obsession with means testing

A well-intentioned focus on distributional justice is counterproductive, especially in a crisis

Nancy Pelosi.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

One of the strangest spectacles in the economic scramble to respond to the coronavirus crisis is that Republicans seem more willing than Democrats to just give everyone straight cash aid. It was Jason Furman, a former Obama administration economic chief, who first prominently endorsed the idea of an immediate $1,000 check to every adult, and $500 for every child. But in the legislature and the executive, Republicans — such as Mitt Romney and Steven Mnuchin at Treasury — have pushed the hardest and the loudest for the idea so far.

Now, thanks to reporting, we have a better idea of how this happened. Turns out Furman pushed the proposal in a meeting with Democrats last week. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) "shot down the suggestion saying she didn't want to write checks to millionaires," according to Politico.

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