Claim: Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the Trump administration’s efforts to soften the blow of the coronavirus pandemic and revive the economy had only benefited the wealthy and inflated the stock market.
The stock market has recovered much faster than many expected after crashing in the early weeks of the pandemic—but so has the broader recovery. The unemployment rate has dropped much lower than many thought it would, from 14.4 percent to 8.4 percent. The economy has added tens of millions of jobs as states lifted lockdown orders.
Several of the administration’s programs bolstered Americans with low and middle incomes rather than the wealthy:
- the economic impact payments handed out $1,200 to most Americans, with more going to bigger families, but was capped at around $100,000 of income;
- federal government enhancements to unemployment benefits increased jobless payments by $600 per week, which allowed a huge share of Americans who had lost their jobs to receive more income than they had while working.
- the Paycheck Protection Program lent hundreds of millions to small businesses, keeping millions of Americans employed even when the economy was largely shuttered; and
- federal programs to pause student loan payments and stop foreclosures have helped millions avoid debt trouble during the crisis.
Because of the Trump administration’s relief programs, poverty declined even as the economy was ravaged by the pandemic