Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News Wednesday that he opposes Congress passing more stimulus funding because "if you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession," governors "will not have an incentive" to reopen the economy.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked over the next coronavirus stimulus package. The Trump administration has said it is willing to pass a bill at a lower price tag than House Democrats' $3 trillion proposal, but some Republicans — like Paul and other deficit hawks — have said there is no need.

What he's saying: "The money will be borrowed or the money will be printed. Both of them have ramifications. If we do another trillion, we will be in about $5 trillion for one year. We have never, ever in the history of the United States borrowed so much so rapidly. And I fear the consequences," Paul said.

  • "If you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession, we can stay in a recession longer. The recession is created by the government. The government shut the economy."
  • "So all of these governors, Democrat and Republican, will not have an incentive to open the economy if you soften the amount of suffering that they have created."
  • "What we need to be doing is every day broadcasting that your governors are causing the unemployment."

Between the lines: Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly emphasized that the fate of the economy is inextricably linked to the course of the virus.

  • There is no trade-off between the economy and the pandemic, Powell and other economists argue, and economic recovery is all but impossible if the virus isn't contained.

Go deeper: Paul says Republicans should apologize to Obama for complaining about spending

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

The American economic paradox

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's the rebound economists didn't see coming.

Why it matters: America did nothing that should have been necessary to really get the economy moving again. We didn't get the coronavirus under control, and we gave up on fiscal stimulus after a single short-lived round of it. Nevertheless, we're about to close out by far the strongest quarter of economic growth in American history.

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.