Democrats used to understand pandemic economics. Donald Trump would complain that “the cure is worse than the disease,” or that Americans must be free to get back to work to improve the grim economic picture. Democrats would reply that the economic crisis was inseparable from the public health crisis. The idea was simple: The government could indeed mitigate some of the ongoing damage to household incomes. But a full economic revival required first containing the virus.
What was true in 2020 is true now. Yet Democrats have seemingly forgotten this insight, just as an unrelenting focus on speeding up vaccinations could end the pandemic more quickly. Instead, with control of Congress and the White House, the party is exhausting time