May 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

Mark Cuban calls for "transitional" federal jobs program to stem unemployment

Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Billionaire Mark Cuban tweeted a thread on Sunday calling for the federal government to train and hire millions of Americans as coronavirus contact tracers in order to "dent unemployment with stable jobs."

What he's saying: "It's time to face the fact that [the Paycheck Protection Program] didn't work. Great plan, difficult execution. No one's fault. The only thing that will save businesses is consumer demand. No amount of loans to businesses will save them or jobs if their customers aren't buying."

  • "It's time for trickle up economics. We need a transitional fed jobs program that trains and hires millions for a federal tracking/tracing/testing program as well as for support for at risk populations including long term care. We need to dent unemployment with stable jobs."

Cuban also called for an interim stimulus program that would give every American household a $1,000 check every two weeks for the next two months that must be spent within 10 days of receipt.

  • "This 'use it or lose it' [program] will cost about $500b, but it will allow for demand for non essential products and services to increase, hopefully keeping most businesses alive, as we learn what the impact of re-opening is on the spread and whether or not employment grows organically," Cuban tweeted.

The big picture: The House on Friday passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that has already been deemed dead on arrival by Senate Republicans and the Trump administration.

  • As Congress remains at an impasse, more than 36 million Americans have filed jobless claims over the past two months.
  • Goldman Sachs estimates the unemployment rate will hit 25%, matching the peak level of joblessness during the Great Depression.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.