As the COVID-19 crisis has developed in the United States, lawmakers have sought to mitigate the suffering of consumers through stimulus packages. The bipartisan CARES Act passed recently revolves around a plan of sending funds to taxpayers to help stave off financial ruin.However, as the stimulus checks roll out, some lawmakers believe the CARES Act did not go far enough. In particular, three representatives are proposing further massive expenditures to help U.S. taxpayers cope until the crisis passes.
COVID-19 Checks for AllThe first proposal, made by Democratic representatives from Ohio and California, suggested offering all Americans over 16 years old a $2,000 check every month. In particular, the bill is designed to catch those who fell through the cracks of the CARES Act. A number of Americans, particularly high school and college students and those with disabilities, were claimed as dependents by other taxpayers. As such, they were unable to collect stimulus payments. The new proposal would also offer couples $4,000 per month. Americans could collect the funds via mail, debit card, or even cash apps like Zelle.
Going Rent-FreeA second proposal, also Democratically sponsored, would offer a massive cancellation of rent for the entire nation. The bill suggests a complete rent forgiveness program lasting up to a year, beginning retroactively on March 13, 2020. The forgiveness program would protect credit ratings and rental histories for citizens. Additionally, the government would look to set up a relief fund to provide help to landlords offset losses of revenue due to the bill. This COVID-19 relief fund would be managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Citizens would not be allowed to double-dip, but would only receive rent forgiveness for their primary residence.
Devil in the DetailsBoth proposals represent a large increase from the existing CARES Act which already had a legislative budget of $2 trillion. Such an increase in government spending could potentially increase inflation. Many users on Twitter have pointed out that such money printing operations are untenable, often in not so subtle ways. Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder of the investment firm Morgan Creek Digital, tweeted criticism that massive money printing operations for economic stimuli will have dramatic negative economic impacts:
Memes are the message. The internet stays undefeated.— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) April 19, 2020
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