SMU Data and Models

SMU Market Trends: Split Opinions Over Next Stimulus

Written by Tim Triplett

With Congress at an impasse over the next round of federal stimulus spending, roughly two out of three steel buyers polled by Steel Market Update believe it’s time to dial it back and not overreact. The other one-third feel the government should double down on spending to support an economy still struggling with the effects of the coronavirus.

Comments from respondents polled this past Monday and Tuesday echoed two common concerns: incentivizing unemployment and raising the federal deficit. Here are comments from some service center and OEM executives responding to SMU’s questionnaire:

“A stimulus is good, but the devil is in the details. Bottom line—who gets it and how much? There was a lot of waste the last go around. Any stimulus to households should be geared toward spending. As Laurel use to say to Hardy: Now look what a fine mess you have gotten us into! Paying it back will be tough.”

“The economy is in need of a continued stimulus as well as an infrastructure stimulus. I know the question is who will pay. But if we fail to support, we all will pay if the economy collapses.”

“Dialing it back is the only way to separate the real unemployment situation from those that simply want to sit home and collect a check until benefits run out. It is not only shameful it is also fiscally irresponsible for the federal government to continue supporting those people. Dial it back, force people back to work and stop this nonsense. For those who can’t find a job in a reasonably defined period of time, then they should become eligible for a new round of unemployment or stimulus. It’s time to reset the table.”

“Unfortunately, the stimulus is needed for now. I recognize we will have to pay it back later in some shape or form.”

“Many people and companies are still financially distressed and still need (appropriate) help. Money/help needs to flow to those at the bottom of the financial heap, not the pals of the politicians.”

“Help the people who need help—we just need to weed out the waste.”

“Stimulus in the form of a transportation bill would be the appropriate move, but it will not happen until 2021 for political reasons. Extending unemployment benefits with no controls over who is receiving it or how much they are receiving only adds debt that will have to be repaid. Sooner or later, these debts must be serviced in the form of higher taxes and an impact on economic growth.”

“We are having a hard time getting people to come back to work with the extra $600 a week. I’m thankful it just expired.”

“The government needs to get people off the couch and back to work.”

“It would be nice if the states controlled the allocation.”

“We’re seeing too many help wanted signs. We can’t pay people more to sit at home. Wake up politicians!”

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