The first quarter of 2020 was the worst of times for most Americans, especially the low and middle-income groups. The total shutdown severely affected the economy as the pandemic crossed over in the States. And this led to the greatest recession as people in their millions were left with no source of income. The federal administration stepped in quickly and provided the first of the stimulus checks. But with the present inflation persisting, more is needed and states have stepped in admirably.
The stimulus checks were the only solution at that moment. People needed immediate relief without any bureaucratic hassles. The direct payments helped put food on the table for millions, helped them pay their home rent, clear their utility bills, and prevented them from defaulting on their loans.
The stimulus checks not only benefitted the people of the US. it also saved the economy in multiple ways and was the reason that the recession turned out to be the shortest of more than a dozen since WW II. The reason was that the federal government also provided admirable support to businesses, organizations, and institutions like schools and hospitals, and also to local and state governments.
This helped avoid the large-scale layoffs normally associated with a recession. Businesses were able to pay wages to their employees despite staying shut for weeks at a stretch or performing way below their normal production levels.
So instead of taking months to recover as the situation linked back to normal after the introduction of the vaccines, the recovery this time was quick and sharp. The economy even experienced a brief period of boom and revenue collection went up astronomically in the last two quarters of 2021.
The biggest comprehensive support came under the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Joe Biden within weeks of assuming office. The third stimulus check, or the economic impact payment, was the biggest of the three rounds of payment at $1,400. So were the other support measures that included the most comprehensive support measure for the economy.
The third round of stimulus checks was the last of the federal direct stimulus payment through other support measures that continued for almost another year. The enhanced unemployment checks were extended up to the first week of September while the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus check greatly helped families with children.
Inflation soared 9.1% ending June 2022 when compared year-to-year. It is a continuation of an expensive trend that has hammered households for over a year as inflation rates began creeping up as early as April 2021.
Gas, food, and housing prices have been especially burdensome, though the prices of gas have somewhat eased. But July inflation rates, despite the mild decrease due to gas prices, are still at 8.5%.
States Move In As Federal Stimulus Checks Dry Up
The sudden drying up of the federal stimulus checks proved to be just difficult for low-income people as inflation rates had increased by then, making it difficult for people to survive on present wages. It was the right support measure and many policymakers believe that it should have continued for another round.
States have taken heed of the distressing situation and have moved in rapidly. They have been aided by the fact that most states enjoyed a revenue windfall in the last two quarters of 2021 when the economy picked up rapidly. Alongside that, most states are holding onto American Rescue Plan Act funds, which were given to states to spend on pandemic-related expenses.
The latest among states to move in to help out their residents include two contrasting states, both geographically and politically. While California has a booming revenue surplus to fall back upon, Republican Florida is depending on the ARPA funds to send a $450 stimulus check to around 60,000 residents of the state.
Ron DeSantis has long been a vicious opponent of President Biden’s stimulus check support policy, more so as he considers himself a contender for the 2024 presidential election. But that has not stopped him from sending out a stimulus check that will help families with children.
California, under Democrat Gavin Newsom, is going about its support measures in a very thorough and complete way. Qualifying residents of the Golden State will be effective in getting their third stimulus check from the state administration. The first two, Golden State Stimulus Checks I and II, were worth around $2,000.
In this round, the payments will vary depending on income and filing status. Income tax filers will receive additional and equal pay if they have at least one dependent, but none for a second dependent.
A single parent earning $75,000 or less will get $350, and another $350 for one dependent. Joint holders will receive another $350, making it a total of $1,050 for joint filers. Even joint filers earning up to $250,000 will receive a stimulus check, but the amount will be $200 for each filer plus another $200 for one dependent.
Tax filers in Colorado will receive a $750 one-off rebate as individual filers and double that for married couples filing jointly. The Colorado Cashback tax rebate will go out to residents who have filed their state tax returns. They can expect the payment before September 30 this year while those who filed for a filing extension will receive the stimulus check by January 31 of next year.
Delaware is giving out $300 as relief checks to residents while Georgia will be sending out a one-off relief payment of $250 for individual filers and double that for joint filers. Governor David Ige of Hawaii has signed legislation that is sending out $300 each to individual filers earning below $100,000. The other will receive a $100 stimulus check.
Governor Pritzker has announced multiple measures for Illinois residents including a tax rebate of $50 for an income less than $200,000 in 2021 and $100 for joint filers earning below $400,000. The state has also temporarily suspended sales tax on groceries.
Maine and New Mexico were among the first states of the mark. While Maine is sending out an $850 stimulus check for eligible individual filers, joint filers will get double that. New Mexico has spread out its stimulus check payments over 3 months ending August 2022 which could work out to $1,000 per qualifying family.