The pandemic was the most trying time for Americans after the Second World War. It brought the economy to a halt. Low and middle-income Americans were helped greatly during those trying times by the successive federal stimulus checks announced in 2020 and 2021.
But with those relief payments coming to a halt, it has been left to the states to sort out the high inflation rate as Americans are again faced with the prospect of insufficient income to match their expenses.
Several states have come forward with stimulus checks on their own and have been funded by the surplus funds generated as the economy enjoyed a rapid and steep recovery. That and the billions of dollars received under the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden have meant that most states are flush with funds.
The federal administration injected around $5T between March 2020 and February 2022 as stimulus checks to individuals and grants and aid to states and businesses.
But with inflation staying at around 8.5% from March 2022, a federal stimulus of all sorts will remain on pause for fear of a further spurt in inflation.
States Have Devised Their Form Of Stimulus Checks
Some states have already passed legislation on the issue. Residents of New Mexico filing joint income tax returns and with income under $150,000 will receive a one-off rebate of $500 on their taxes. Single filers with an income of $75,000 and below will get half that amount as a stimulus check.
Georgia has already moved ahead and Governor Kemp has signed the legislation to enable residents to get between $250 and $500 as one-time stimulus check refunds.
Residents of California have benefitted from a surplus for the last couple of years. The state has already sent two rounds of a stimulus check to all its residents earning below a certain limit.
Now Governor Newsom has proposed a stimulus check of $400 per car to offset gasoline prices, subject to maximum support for two cars per family.