States Reject Fears Of Inflation Relief Stimulus Checks Fueling Further Inflation

Stimulus Checks

With California and Florida joining the ever-increasing list of states giving out stimulus checks to relieve monetary pressure on residents, the list has swelled to over 20. And the numbers could increase as residents continue to struggle to manage finance even as income goes down in real terms due to the record inflation.

The sudden suspension of all forms of federal stimulus checks and other support measures after 2021 has been a blow to millions who were yet to fully recover from the economic blow of two years of downturn triggered by the pandemic.

People were thrown into the deep end after America completely shut down following the declaration of a total shutdown in February 2020. But the federal administration took the step which they felt was the only way to send direct and immediate support to millions of Americans facing the unprecedented crisis.

The three rounds of stimulus checks and the parallel measures to support businesses, states, local, and tribal governments, and organizations like educational institutions, and hospitals.

While a section of economists and the opposition Republicans will continue to debate the impact of the third stimulus check payments, there is no denying that each of the payments and other support measures served as an essential lifeline to cover bills, and supported people who lost their jobs, helped them pay off their debts, their accumulated bills, and home rents.

For most Americans, the pandemic was a dark period where millions lost all their savings and despite the support from the federal administration, they just managed to cling to a semblance of normality. The absence of any form of income could never be made up by the stimulus checks.

The prolonged shutdown affected businesses severely and led to a spike in unemployment. The support to businesses under the federal support measures including the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden immediately after he assumed power in January 2021 helped alleviate some of the pain. Many businesses that would have been forced to shut down continue to operate, even if at a reduced pace, and could retain a large part of their workforce.

This proved to be a great help for all concerned parties once the economy opened up. Despite a slowdown across the world, the economy was back to its feet after a brief recession, the shortest in decades. This was possible as workers continued to get paid, even if their pay was curtailed and their work hours got shortened.

State Stimulus Checks Possible Largely Due To Federal Funds Under ARPA

The Rescue Plan signed by President Biden was not just to give stimulus checks to citizens, though it made up a significant part of the funding. It was primarily designed to facilitate the recovery of the American economy from the devastation of the pandemic.

The $1.9 trillion package makes this economic rescue legislation one of the biggest ever in US history. It is the initial part of President Biden Build Back Better plan which also had in its plans the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.

Other than the direct stimulus checks of $1,400, also known as the economic impact payment, it included foreclosure moratoriums, extended unemployment compensation, and also extending moratoriums on evictions.

The Child Tax Credit was also increasing from $2,000 to between $3,000 and $3,600, depending on the age of the child. It was also made refundable for the first time since its introduction.

The extended unemployment checks and the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus checks paid between July and December 2021 were in a way an extension of the stimulus support from the federal administration.

But unfortunately, the Republicans’ intransigence put a stop to all forms of the stimulus even as inflation peaked in the first quarter of 2022 and continued to increase into the second.

State Stimulus Checks To Make An Impact In Around 20 States

Several states have already begun issuing stimulus checks to residents and many more are expected to start by the 4th quarter of 2022. By August, 14 states have moved ahead with inflation relief measures and a number of them had already begun sending out payments and given tax rebates.

The program instead of the federal stimulus support has been well received across the political spectrum. This is evident from the fact at even a staunch opponent of President Biden and his policies, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has used funds from the Rescue Plan and will use it to send out stimulus checks to residents of Florida.

Another state that has recently moved in with stimulus checks for its residents includes California. The Golden State was a bit late off the mark with its third round of stimulus checks. this makes it the only state to have given multiple stimulus checks to its residents since the pandemic.

California initially had plans to give a $400 gas card for each vehicle registered in the state. Families could claim a maximum of two cards each. But California later dropped the gas and transit card scheme and moved to another round of direct stimulus checks.

All resident filers earning below $75,000 will get a $350 stimulus check and the same amount will be given to at least one dependent. The same applies to married couples filing jointly. They will both get $350 each and another $350 for a maximum of one dependent.

Even joint filers earning up to $500,000 will get around $600 if they have at least one dependent.

Colorado signed a Cash Back Bill back in May and residents will get to collect a tax rebate of $750 for individual filers and double that for married couples filing jointly. Residents should have filed their returns by the end of June 2022 and the tax rebates will go out by end-September.

Delaware has allowed a one-time rebate of $300 while Governor Brian Kemp signed a tax refund that will enable them to receive $250, joint filers double that and household heads will get $375.

Hawaii is sending a stimulus check of $300 for residents earning below $100,000 and $100 for those earning more than that.

Idaho is giving a $75 rebate or 12% of the state tax for 2020, whichever is greater. Illinois launched a $1.83 billion family relief plan launched in July.