Do You Feel $9,000 Richer, Punk?

“Why does this happen every time? As economists like to say, incentives matter. Sure, Congress could have just mailed us each a $9,000 check—or maybe $7,000, spending the rest on medical system capacity. But then the two major parties wouldn’t have been able to go back to their favored and most supportive constituencies and brag about their special treatment. Sure, there might be an eventual backlash, but as President Trump once said (before COVID-19) about a future debt crisis, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.”