After a difficult 2020, 2021 began on a hopeful note: COVID-19 vaccines promised a return to normalcy; the stock market was at an all-time high; and many states discovered they had more revenue than anticipated. Indeed, California is now predicting a $75.7 billion surplus for budget year 2020–21.
Yet there’s an elephant in the room (or a ship in the canal?): Coronavirus variants are driving a surge in cases; more than 11 million people in the United States couldn’t work in March 2021 because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic; and inequity and opportunity gaps are broadening. 
No one knows how long COVID-19 will play the puppeteer, or what that will mean for the economy. Nonetheless, lawmakers must do what lawmakers do — legislate on tax and policy matters to the best of their ability — and everyone else must deal with the fallout.

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