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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

17 mins ago - Technology

New skill for Olympic athletes: cybersecurity

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

When Olympic athletes from all over the world land in Beijing for the 2022 Olympic Games, they'll be loaded up with burner phones and will likely leave their own devices behind.

Why it matters: Athletes are headed to the Beijing Olympics with mixed guidance from their home countries about whether their personal information will be safe online and their devices will be secure.

Omicron is finally burning out

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New COVID infections are declining in the U.S. — a sign that the Omicron wave has likely peaked.

Yes, but: Deaths are rising, and the U.S. still has a lot of COVID — a reminder that even this milder variant is still a very real threat to unvaccinated Americans.

Activist Republicans oppose helping Ukraine

Ground personnel unload weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, and other military hardware delivered on a National Airlines plane by U.S. military at Boryspil Airport near Kyiv on Jan. 25, 2022. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Republicans running in high-profile primary races aren't racing to defend Ukraine against a possible Russian invasion. They're settling on a different line of attack: Blame Biden, not Putin.

Why this matters: GOP operatives working in 2022 primary races tell Axios they worry they'll alienate their base if they push to commit American resources or troops to help Ukraine fight Russia.