The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Strong Stimulus Package Needed after Huge Job Losses, Amount Closer to $1.9 Trillion Essential

Posted on February 02, 2021 at 03:48 PM

The Greater Delta Region and the US economy as a whole need a strong stimulus package ASAP to deal with the loss of about 10 million jobs and an economic decline of 3.5% last year.

While we are glad to see bipartisan negotiations going on, the logical need is much closer to the Biden administration figure of $1.9 trillion rather than the minority view of less than a third that amount.

While some projections forecast a return to the same overall size of the economy by summer or fall–in which the inequality between lower income people in regions like the Delta and more affluent regions would become even more pronounced-virtually all projections indicate it will take years before everyone thrown out of their jobs by the virus will return to work.

Without a stimulus package, employment will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy was “a long way from a full recovery” with millions of people still out of work, small businesses facing serious pressures, and new, more contagious variants of the virus complicating efforts to continue the recent decrease in infections.

The great majority of Delta Caucus partners agree that aid should go where it is needed most–for unemployment relief, aid to small businesses, job creation investments, and broad-based economic stimulus.

If President Biden chooses to make some minor concessions on points that are not directly related to the current need for economic progress, that could be reasonable, but the total needs to be close to $1.9 trillion.

A full, solid recovery will create jobs and thus generate much greater revenue to reduce the deficits after the recovery takes hold. The economy needs a strong recovery first, and then we can cut back on high spending levels as job growth and stronger revenue determine.


Inflation is very low–Congressional Budget Office forecasts indicate that inflation levels will stay below the Fed’s target of 2% for the next several years, as the Fed continues to hold interest rates close to zero.

There is not any significant evidence that growth could run hot enough to ignite a major spike in inflation. With the job losses and economic decline last year, all economic factors point toward a need for broad-based economic growth.

In a democracy, a reasonable compromise should be much closer to the plan devised by the elected President and majority in Congress than the minority, especially when many Republicans such as Republican Gov. Justice of West Virginia stress “now is the time to go big” to get the economy back on track.


The Delta Caucus senior advisers to advocate by email, phone, social media, Zoom and other forms of communication during the pandemic.

The scope of the Greater Delta Region conference on Capitol Hill on May 12-14 will of course be determined by the pandemic situation at that time.

If it is still severe we will hold a smaller in-person conference supplemented by some Zoom sessions.

If the vaccinations, mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing lead to a substantially improved situation, we will consider a somewhat larger group in the range of 50 to 70 in-person in DC.

It is true that some people either were not harmed at all by the pandemic and recession and even became more affluent since it broke out. We in the Delta Caucus are concerned about those who did lose their jobs and we don’t agree that waiting until 2024 is acceptable to help those people.


Arkansas today reported the lowest number of hospitalizations in more than two months and a decline in active cases. Other states in the Delta were somewhat better or worse, but the overall trend regionally as well as nationally is toward declining deaths and increasing vaccination rates.

A Feb. 1 report indicated that 1.35 million doses per day were administered over the past seven days across the USA.

Deaths in the Delta were higher than average, although the region did not have all of the highest rates–that is still a very sad situation, but at least different from the pattern where Delta states have tended to take up most of the worst slots in economic or health-related rankings. 8 of the lowest states were not in the Delta and four of them ranked toward the middle of the range.


5TH HIGHEST–Mississippi, 203 deaths per 100,000 people.

8th highest–Louisiana: 192 per 100,000

13th highest–Arkansas 157 per 100,000

20th highest–Tennessee 141 per 100,000

Missouri had 117 deaths per 100,000 (26th) and Kentucky 89 per 100,000 at 40th.

Illinois state-wide statistics are not as indicative of the situation in the southern Illinois Delta, both because southern Illinois is such a small part of the overall population in that state and other areas in central and northern Illinois are very different demographically from southern Illinois.