Many Americans are facing great hardship due to the economic closures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government is in the process of distributing stimulus checks to many Americans but some lawmakers think that isn’t enough, even before most Americans have received the initial stimulus checks.
Fox News reports:
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced legislation Tuesday that would provide a $2,000 monthly payment to qualifying Americans until employment returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.
This new monthly payment would be expanded to even more Americans.
According to a press release, the Emergency Money for the People Act would mean $2000 monthly payments for those over the age of 16 who make less than $130,000 annually.
This is exactly the opposite of what such monetary aid should be. Instead of targeted, temporary and flexible aid, the Emergency Money for the People Act would be sweeping, along the lines of the Universal Basic Income proposed by former Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Giving money to Americans facing hardship due to no fault of their own is a role for government, but it should be limited.
Instead of throwing more money in an indiscriminately and haphazard fashion beyond a clear and pressing problem, lawmakers should prioritize adding funds to programs that help retain jobs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a fund which loans out to small businesses to avert layoffs. (My colleague Patrice Onwuka writes about the fund here.)
Clearly, the fund is needed and too many small businesses will go under without the additional support that funds such as the PPP provide.
Even more, reopening the economy will generate jobs and get more people back to work so that workers won’t need another stimulus check.
Americans are suffering and will continue to suffer economic hardship. Raising the income cap, making stimulus payments monthly instead of one-time, and almost doubling the payment from the $1,200 stimulus checks already on the way, is not the right solution to help the American people.