(Bloomberg) — At first glance, it was good news. The Congressional Budget Office said last week that the mammoth economic relief package passed in March would cost the government $1.8 trillion, not the $2.2 trillion initially thought.

But look beneath the surface, some economists say, and the CBO’s calculations are not that comforting. Why? Because they suggest the government may not be providing the economy with all the support it might need to survive the coronavirus shock relatively intact.

“From a budget perspective, this might seem like good news, but from the larger issue of avoiding economic catastrophe it is a problem,” said former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who now heads the American Action Forum.

The difference between the CBO’s calculations and the early estimates

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