Despite fiscal relief efforts in Washington contributing to the cost-of-living crisis, policymakers think that doing more of the same will help. Bless their hearts if they think stimulus checks can somehow avoid the same inflationary troubles of the last 18 months. But officials from more than a dozen states have already distributed money or will send them in the mail soon. Could a fourth payment from the federal government also arrive? It all depends on the polling, of course. Until then, residents in 16 states can scream into their phones: “Show me the money!”
Stimulus Checks – Who Gets ‘Em?
California captured national headlines when Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) confirmed in June that millions of residents would receive checks of up to $1,050 between October and January. The something-for-nothing tax rebate program does come with caveats, but all households will receive at least some cold hard cash.
In May, Colorado approved a proposal to cut a check of $750 for individual tax filers or $1,500 for joint filers. The refunds will be doled out by Sept. 30. Delaware established a similar initiative at the same time, although one-time payments would amount to $300 for each adult resident. Idaho rolled out its tax rebate scheme ($75 or 12% of your 2020 state taxes) in March, while Oregon issued one-time $600 assistance checks to low-income residents in July.
Republicans’ favorite governor, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, also got in on the fiscal fun last month. His administration announced $450 in one-time checks to 59,000 families that are caregivers, foster parents, or on state assistance.
Georgia will have sent out most payments of up to $500 in the coming weeks. Ditto for Hawaii (up to $300), Illinois (up to $100), South Carolina (up to $800), and Virginia (up to $500). Massachusetts confirmed residents would receive a 7% refund on their 2021 state income tax payment, but the home of the Fenway Park is mulling over additional relief efforts.
Other states are going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure households can survive Bidenflation. Maine put forward one of the highest stimmy checks in the nation, with single filers and couples receiving $850 and $1,700, respectively. New Jersey is issuing checks, child tax credits, and rebates for eligible families who pay property taxes. New Mexico is extending two separate stimulus checks – a $500 rebate for married couples and a $500 payment for anyone who filed a 2021 personal income tax return.
Is Washington Next?
After President Joe Biden sent out a third round of assistance, Democrats immediately pushed the White House to consider the fourth. Liberty Nation reported that some Democrats suggested perpetual cash until the coronavirus pandemic was over. While it might seem unlikely that the Biden administration will endorse more stimulus funds at this point, nothing is surprising anymore from an unpopular president and his economic doctrine.
Definition of Insanity
It has become a tired trope to say that the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results. But this is what is occurring in blue and red states nationwide. Of course, there is nothing wrong with returning the people’s money that politicians and bureaucrats confiscated through force. The problem is that it ignores the fundamental reasons why the inflation bomb went off in the first place.
The US economy was flooded with deficit-financed liquidity, resulting in too much money chasing too few goods. Indeed, consumer demand has subsided amid sizzling inflation and recession fears. However, history has proven that anytime the public is given a sizable cash injection of free cash, consumers will go out and buy a big-screen television, invest in stocks on Robinhood, or pay down credit card debt used to purchase frivolous items. It is a case of transferring money from your left hand to your right. If the government wanted to stimulate the economy perpetually, elected officials could eradicate the tax code, shut down the Federal Reserve, and leave people alone. “It’s the stuff dreams are made of,” as Humphrey Bogart famously uttered in The Maltese Falcon.