The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which authorized the third and possibly final stimulus check amid the coronavirus outbreak, was signed by President Joe Biden one year ago on Friday.
According to some experts, the $1,400 direct payment to most Americans, as well as the increased child tax credit and other financial aid programs, were critical while the country was economically decimated by the protracted health crisis.
“Given how resilient and fair the recovery has been in the face of Delta, Omicron, and now military conflict in Europe,” Gene Sperling, a Biden aide picked to monitor the legislation’s implementation, told The Associated Press, “that plan already appears good.”
Consequences of Government Spending
Others, on the other hand, believe otherwise, given that the most recent consumer price index increased 7.9% year-over-year, reaching a new forty-year high, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The risk was that it might lead to a success that would inspire people to do more.” However, it contributed to inflation, which caused people to want to do less, according to Jason Furman, a Harvard professor and former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama. “In some respects, that’s the most serious implication. He went on to say, “It was a gamble, and they lost it, and it stung.”
Many Americans are still trying to make ends meet against this backdrop of severe inflation, which includes skyrocketing gas and food prices. On CNBC yesterday, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the two-year-long pandemic is still “far from done,” adding that Covid-19 “would not be over somewhere until it’s over everywhere.”
Are There Any More Stimulus Checks?
For many, the short-term solution is for the government to authorize another wave or two of stimulus cheques, as multiple countrywide petitions have long advocated. The most popular is being organized by Stephanie Bonin, a Denver-area restaurant owner whose Change.org petition has since surpassed its target of three million signatures and added 37,000 more.
“I’m urging Congress to provide immediate assistance to families by providing a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for children, as well as sustaining regular payments for the duration of the crisis,” the petition states.
One energy expert is proposing the government issue $1,100 stimulus checks to assist lessen the pain of current inflationary pressures, such as gas prices, which are currently at $4.33, according to AAA.
In an op-ed for CNN Business, Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, wrote, “The fastest and most effective way to protect vulnerable citizens from the impacts of global economic instability is to provide a direct payment through the IRS, similar to the three stimulus checks that were sent to families during the height of the pandemic.”
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“The administration should urge Congress to authorize a payment of $1,100 per household to cover the next four months of higher prices,” he added.