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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The White House is asking Congress for a $1 trillion coronavirus relief and economic stimulus plan that would include industry-specific bailouts and payments to individual taxpayers.

The big picture: This is more than the $900 billion that the U.S. government initially committed to bailouts in the 2008 financial crisis.

The proposal, penned by the Treasury Department, includes:

  • Payouts to individual Americans: $500 billion.
    • This would be done via two separate checks of equal amounts, one on April 6 and one on May 18.
    • The specific dollar amounts would be means-tested, meaning it would be based on income level and family size.
    • Each round of payments would be identical in amount, per the Treasury.
  • Airline industry bailout: $50 billion.
    • This would take the form of secured loans to passenger and cargo air carriers, with the Treasury to set interest rates and other terms.
    • Limits would be placed on executive pay increases until the loans were repaid.
  • Other affected industries bailout: $150 billion.
    • Secured loans or loan guarantees would be extended to "other critical sectors of the U.S. economy experiencing severe financial distress due to the COVID-19 outbreak."
    • Among the sectors raising their hands for bailouts, largely or wholly for the purpose of paying workers: Hotels ($150 billion requested), casinos, cruise line operators and shopping mall operators.
  • Small business interruption loans: $300 billion.
    • Employers with 500 employees or fewer would be eligible, and would have to keep paying all their workers for eight weeks from the date of the loan.
    • The government would guarantee 100% of six weeks of payroll, capped at $1,540 per week per employee, with the Treasury to set interest rates and other terms.

Historical comparison: The amount budgeted in 2008 for TARP — the Troubled Asset Relief Program — was $700 billion. The money was aimed at bailing out big banks and auto companies. The same year, the government designated $200 billion to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage enterprises.

  • In actuality, far less than the total $900 billion was spent.
  • By the time the programs were declared ended in 2014, the government had actually turned a profit on those bailouts.
  • According to ProPublica's Bailout Tracker, a total of $634 billion was spent on TARP and the Fannie and Freddie bailouts: "Money has been coming back in two ways: $390B of principal has been repaid, and the Treasury has collected revenue from its investments of $364B. ... In total, the government has realized a $121B profit as of January 31, 2020."

The bottom line: While there were big moral and ethical implications to the rescue of the banking and auto industries — which were seen as having largely caused their own problems — many of the companies that are currently foundering are blameless for their predicament.

  • This will make it easier for the public to support sweeping federal appropriations.
  • Public support will be public important if the coronavirus emergency drags on and forces even more federal expenditures and guarantees.

Read the proposal.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.