Talking Points

Reminder: The economy is still collapsing and Republicans have no plan to fix it

The Republican National Convention has featured several small business owners thanking the Trump administration for the Paycheck Protection Program — a part of the CARES Act, passed by Congress back in March, that gave businesses grants to keep people on staff.

That's all well and good. But the PPP program, as well as the much larger and better-targeted boost to unemployment benefits, expired almost a month ago. Private datasets show the amount of spending on unemployment debit cards (where most benefits are deposited) has collapsed over the last month or so. Roughly $15 billion in weekly income has been deleted from the economy. It is very likely that the economy is either going to stall out roughly where it is now, or even deteriorate further.

The economy very badly needs another rescue, but the Republican Party has refused to either agree to the Democratic bill passed back in May, or get behind their own plan. A large portion of the Senate Republican caucus thinks there should be no additional rescue at all.

It is perhaps too cynical by half for Republicans to be boasting about their economic rescue efforts when they have allowed the very support system they are talking about to die with no replacement, and there is still over two months left to go before the election. If they don't do something soon, the economy will be in much worse shape in November, and it will be their fault.