Should Congress pass another round of stimulus checks?
- For the first wave of stimulus checks, individual taxpayers received $1,200 each if their income was less than $75,000. Married couples received $2,400 if they earned less than $150,000.
- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stated, “about 160 million payments totaling $270 billion have been sent in record time.”
- Republicans are proposing a $1 trillion package as a starting point in contrast to Pelosi’s $3 trillion House-passed plan.
- As of July 22, there have been 3.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases, and 140,630 total deaths in the United States.
The federal government should not fund another round of stimulus checks — it's not an effective way of distributing money to those most in need. Coronavirus related spending has already added roughly $2.4 trillion to the federal deficit. This is a huge financial burden that will be heaped upon future generations to pay.
Stimulus checks do not target those hardest hit by the economic turmoil caused by the virus. Some states have not had to shut down their economies at all, while businesses in states like California and Texas — where the virus is surging — are shuttered again.
Any additional aid the federal government dispenses should be targeted at areas still struggling. Rather than issuing a second round of stimulus checks, a better use of resources would be to further fund loans for small businesses that are still not able to operate normally. This puts relief directly in the hands of business owners and employees whose livelihoods the virus has threatened.
Monetary relief should come from state and local governments, where officials in the community better know how to distribute it to those most in need. This could include measures like expanded unemployment insurance benefits and business tax relief.
The government is not a producer; it cannot afford to bail out citizens indefinitely. The money it distributes has to come from somewhere, usually taxpayers. Continued bailouts mean either future tax hikes or cuts to other government programs. The economic impact of the coronavirus means the country can afford neither.
The nation is in uncharted economic waters, which should propel Congress to pass another round of stimulus checks immediately. Additional extending of unemployment support payments and Federal eviction moratoriums should happen as well. Never before in history has a complete shutdown of the economy been in place for so long. The potential negative impact on the financial health of the country is unprecedented. The first round of stimulus checks was absolutely necessary to keep Americans afloat to pay for shelter, food, and living expenses.
A second round of stimulus checks is essential. The economy is stalling. A resurgence of the virus has caused many cities and states to delay, or even reverse, their re-openings. Stores, shops, offices, and factories are still closed. American citizens need to survive the costs of the pandemic until a vaccine is made available. Job losses are still at record highs. The $600 weekly unemployment payment boost of The Cares Act, the first round of stimulus, kept millions of Americans out of poverty, but those payments are set to expire at the end of July. The additional financial support of Federal unemployment monies should be continued.
Some eviction moratoriums are also scheduled to end soon. Many are based on city, county, and state laws and can't be included. However, tenants in Federal housing or in a dwelling purchased with a Federal loan or mortgage have also been protected. Those Federal eviction moratoriums should be extended.
Fewer Americans will probably receive a second round of stimulus checks due to stricter qualifications. Even so, a vital second round will act as an economic lifeline for millions until the COVID-19 virus is no longer a threat to our nation.