Via Economic Policy Journal

Dr. Michael Osterholm

Joe Biden has added Dr. Michael Osterholm to his COVID-19 task force.

Osterholm says shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages for four to six weeks could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check. He is talking about a complete lockdown of the country.

Of course, it is quite the policy advice, over a virus that is not of serious consequence to 98% plus of the population, to recommend a lockdown of some 330 million-plus people.

How does this guy calculate? Or is he just a power freak?

And then when he gets beyond his area of expertise, he gets even more absurd.

“We could pay for a [lockdown] package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said.

“We could pay”? How does he get that idea?

He, naturally, doesn’t have any numbers to back up his claim other than to make the broad statement in an earlier article that personal savings are going up. He ignores the fact that, despite the increase in personal savings, the Federal Reserve printed money and expanded its balance sheet by buying mostly Treasury securities to the tune of roughly $3 trillion (see chart below) during the last COVID lockdown bailout.

There are approximately 123 million households in the United States.

The monthly annual household income is roughly $5,000. So to cover six weeks of lost wages would mean a government payout of roughly a trillion dollars. And this says nothing of the payments Osterholm wants to make for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies and city, state, county governments.

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In other words, we are talking trillions for a federal government that has no money and is already in debt to the tune of $23 trillion.

There is a trillion-dollar debt point that is the straw that will break the debt back of the United States where a crisis will then explode on the scene. It is difficult to think we are far away from that point with all this money printing madness that an epidemiologist (!) is now advising we should add to. 

And, I must emphasize, this lockdown, money pump madness is being recommended by an epidemiologist for a virus that is not of serious consequence to 98% plus of the population.

RW

UPDATE

This from Phil Magness: