Inflation is crippling American spending power and has some experts are wondering if another round of stimulus check payments is the answer to the pain in the pocketbooks. Or did the checks sent to millions of U.S. residents in 2020 and 2021 contribute to 2022′s soaring prices?
Experts say the $5 trillion pumped into the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic added about 3% to the U.S. inflation rate by the end of 2021 with prices climbing even higher since then. According to Yahoo, consumer prices rose 8.5% in March, the highest amount since 1981.
Others think it’s shortsighted to blame stimulus checks for inflation.
Yang Believes That Stimulus Checks Aren’t To Be Blamed
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a proponent of providing Americans a universal basic income, said stimulus funds made up only about 17% of the money approved through the CARES Act package and were not to blame for rising prices.
“Where did the other 83% of the money go? It went to institutions. It went to pipes,” Yang said during a recent interview. “Money in people’s hands for a couple of months last year — in my mind — was a very, very minor factor, in that most of that money has long since been spent, and yet you see inflation continue to rise.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stimulus check payments kept 11 million Americans from falling into poverty.
As of yet, however, Congress has shown no interest in another round of payments, though a petition calling for $2,000 checks for U.S. adults and $1,000 for children has been signed by 3.04 million people. At 3 million signatures, it became one of Change.org’s most-signed petitions.
Americans received the first pandemic payments of up to $1,200 per person in March 2020, followed by $600 in December 2020. The third payment of $1,400 was sent in March 2021.