Republicans Scuttled Fourth Stimulus Checks: Alleged Spending Fueled Inflation

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Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The Republicans began consistently claiming that the government sending Stimulus Checks fueled the nation’s inflation spike. This was an allegation that was not part of the narrative as long as Trump was in power. It was not an issue when the first two of the three stimulus checks were passed by Trump in quick succession.

What the Republicans have refused to acknowledge was that all three stimulus checks were necessary during the pandemic period and later even as the economy went into a tailspin. The federal government led by President Joe Biden ensured that Americans continued to receive some support with the extension of the weekly unemployment stimulus checks. Later it was the expanded version of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check which extended the stimulus check payments for the whole of 2021.

These Stimulus Checks were all part of the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden immediately after he assumed office in January 2021. But Republican lawmakers have constantly maintained that the programs initiated by the Democrat President through spending programs singe into law by the President pumped too much money into the economy. They allege that it fueled an annual inflation rate that was 6% in February.

It was a decline from the last year’s high that crossed the 9% mark in June 2022. But it remained way above the historical norms. But the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, has constantly undercut such claims and dismissed a central contention that government spending was the main cause behind the high inflation rate that has persistently plagued people of the US.

Powell has maintained that a snarled supply chain, the oil shock following the war in Europe, and a shift in consumer preference were primarily behind the rapid pace at which prices grew in the US. he said that it was not a fiscal impulse that was fulling inflation in the US at the moment.

Republican lawmakers contend that the successive spending programs that were signed by President Biden into law were pumping too much money into the American economy. They blame it for fueling the annual inflation rate that remained uncharacteristically high.  

The Fed Chairman has stridently disputed those claims in congressional testimony this year and again in a recent news conference. This comes after the Federal Reserve revealed that it would again go for an interest rate rise. This they say is inevitable if they do bring down inflation levels to the pre-pandemic levels.

Powell said that a decline in federal expenditure after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when asked whether spending policies and federal taxes were the main contributor to the rise in all round prices.

He said that the fiscal impulse was the deciding factor. he was speaking about a measure of how much spending policies and taxes were subtracting or adding to economic growth. He pointed out that it was not a fiscal impulse that was behind the driving rate of inflation. It was the truth at the beginning but the story was not the same at the moment.

Powell has instead blamed rapid price growth on international factors like the worldwide snarl in supply chains, the oil shortage following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the shift in American consumer spending. Consumers in the US have moved away from spending on services such as traveling and dining out and moved to goods like cars, electronics, and furniture.

Joe Biden and the Democrats have the same viewpoint; they contend that the low rate of unemployment played a role in the high inflation rate. a part of the high inflation was due to the low employment rate that the nation experience through 2022. This tight labor market eased somewhat in the first quarter of 2023, contributing to a marginal fall in the inflation rate.

The increase in consumer spending due to healthy savings pushed up the cost of both services and goods.

Republicans Refuse To Believe That The High Prices Were Anything But The Creation Of The Third Stimulus Check

Republican Congressmen have maintained that in the two years of the pandemic, the Biden administration had been reckless in its spending. Coupled with that, they contend that failed economic policies, rising interest rates that have touched 4 decades high figures and inflation have contributed to sending the economy into a recessionary tailspin.

The GOP has been consistent in its attack on President Biden and has denounced his $1.9 T economic package that he signed under the American Rescue Plan Act of March 2021. They have warned that it would lead to further inflation that would send the economy into a tailspin.

Interpreting The $6.8 Trillion Budget Proposal Of President Joe Biden

President Biden has proposed a $6.8 T budget that has that will increase military spending. It will also lessen the budget deficits in the future.

Biden had strived from his first date in office to cut the budget gap. He considered it one of his centerpieces. This move is part of the wider shift among American consumers that has the president giving more attention to the concerns of the low and middle classes.

The Fed also blamed the low unemployment rate more than the stimulus checks for inflation. Some of the high inflation that the nation has experienced is the direct consequence of a tight labor market, the Fed chairman told a House Committee.

Congressional Republicans Continue To Insist Stimulus Checks Blame For Inflation

The Biden administration has continued to stand by the position that inflation had more to do with external sources such as the war and supply chain logjam. He has said that it has little to do with federal spending on stimulus checks and other aid measures.

But the congressional Republicans were not swayed by the Fed Chair’s position and continued to press President Biden to accept sharp spending reduction in exchange for a raise in the legal limit on how much the federal administration can borrow.

GOP Rep. Jodey Arrington of Texas said that the Biden administration had indulged in reckless spending over the past two years and failed economic policies. It has resulted in continued record inflation, soaring interest rates, and an economy forced into a relentless recessionary tailspin.