The relentless rise in prices has forced Americans to either hope for an end to record inflation or more support from the federal administration. And neither happened in 2022. And the new year brings with it some hope. Hope in the form of a tweet by American President Joe Biden. At the state level, some states carry over 2022 inflation relief stimulus checks into the new year.
People continue to hope for a pandemic-era form of a lifeline that sustained them during one of the most difficult periods in American history. For the first time after the Second World War, millions of Americans faced the prospect of mass starvation, homelessness, and the tag of loan defaulters.
Most Americans received up to $3,200 as a direct stimulus check, and and it was only a part of the support from the federal government. The amount saw them through the difficult years during and just after the pandemic as the economy went into a tailspin.
For a substantial period of 2020, federal stimulus checks remained the only source of income for individuals and households. Families scarcely faced the same desperation that was apparent among Americans during the Great Recession more than a decade back.
For a family of four, that meant a total of around $12,000. The support was not limited to the direct stimulus checks as the federal administration support also included indirect support that helped shore up the economy.
The American Rescue Plan Act signed by newly elected president Joe Biden in March 2021 was the biggest stimulus check. But it also includes a slew of support measures for businesses, other organizations, and local, state, and tribal bodies.
The support afforded to businesses enabled them to continue paying salaries and wages to their employees for months during the peak months of the pandemic.
This was possible despite a total shutdown of production and services as the Rescue Plan stimulus checks generously funded such businesses.
The Rescue Plan support to states and other local bodies also helped them fund the inflation rebates in 2022. So indirectly, federal funds support Americans during the record inflation that has been relentless in 2022 and threatens to continue into 2023.
President Biden’s Tweet Rekindles Hope Of Another Federal Stimulus Check
People who have expectantly waited the whole year for some form of stimulus check from the federal government were disappointed. Even as record inflation made people desperate for some form of aid, Washington was embroiled in a running battle between the Democrats and the Republicans on multiple issues including abortion, support for the war in Europe, and the cause for the record inflation.
President Biden could not muster enough numbers to get some form of aid through Congress despite being in control of both. It was in the Senate that he was tripped by his senators. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema took advantage of the hairbreadth majority that Biden had and refused to back the president.
As a result, even a project that was close to Biden’s heart, the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus check fell through. While Joe Biden had initially planned to continue with the expanded version of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check, his plan fell through after the initial year.
The CTC payments were expanded from $2,000 a year to between $3,000 and $3,600 for each child depending on their age. The change in the CTC payments also included extending the payments by a year to cover even 17-year-olds.
Even as Americans expectantly waited through 2022, on the last day of the year, the president sent out a tweet that spoke of the accomplishments of his administration in 2022.
In the tweet, he mentioned the historic legislation that he believed would lead to lower costs for seniors and working households. He said it would also keep the communities safe from the scourge of gun violence that has plagued America for decades. President Biden also referred to better pay for workers across America.
This was the expected and normal part of the President’s tweet. It was normal for a president to applaud his administration for the bills that have gone through in 2022 despite overwhelming pressure from the GOP. But it was the last part of the president’s tweet that has raised a new round of speculation among economic and political experts.
The tweet has also raised expectations among millions of families as the previous year had been a year when they barely managed to survive.
The president admitted that much more needs to be done in the new year. He said that he looked forward to making much progress in 2023.
Though the president did not directly refer to any new stimulus checks, many people read much more in his tweet. For many, it seemed that the expanded child tax credit stimulus check could be in for another round of extension, maybe even till 2025, something that was originally envisaged by the president when he passed the initial payment under the Rescue Plan Act.
But others say that the president was referring to his plans under the Build Back Better initiative that also was thwarted by the Republicans.
Though there is a groundswell of bipartisan support for the CTC stimulus check, it has not translated into support on the ground earlier. Now that the Republicans have gained control of the House of Representatives, the challenges are even more formidable for Joe Biden in the second half of his presidency.
But both parties are aware that the CTC stimulus check enabled millions of families with children to free themselves from the clutches of poverty for the first time.
With such support from supporters of both parties, there is a possibility that some moderate Republicans, especially among those opposed to Trump, could come out in support. This will enable the expansion of the more generous version of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check.
So if the president can get some of the GOP members on board, American families could be in for another round of federal stimulus checks in 2023. Till that happens they will have to contend with the state stimulus checks.