The last of the federal stimulus checks ended in December 2021 when the 6th installment of the enhanced Child Tax Credit stimulus checks was issued.
This completed 50% of the total payment sent under that scheme to families with children up to the age of 17. The federal administration had by then already issued payments worth $400B under just the third round of the package.
The maximum $1,400 stimulus check per person gave some families at least 4 members more than $5,000 from the Economic Impact Payments alone, the third round of the federal funds.
Since then the economy has again gone into a tailspin as inflation zooms to record levels, crossing a 4-decade high. It crossed the 9 percent mark and ended June 2022 at 9.1%.
Americans Find Life As Tough As During The Pandemic In Absence Of Any Stimulus Check
The brief economic recovery in the past two quarters of 2021 seems a distant memory as the record inflation has wiped out any economic gains seen then. The prices of gasoline and other essential items including food have increased to record levels, with the price of gasoline almost double when compared to 2020 rates. It has eased briefly but continues to be prohibitively high.
This has prompted states to declare relief measures in the absence of any further stimulus checks from the federal administration.
As inflation wreaks havoc on personal finances, 64% of Americans find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck. To make things more difficult, hourly wage rates have failed miserably to keep up with the present rate of inflation. Consequently, in real terms, people are earning less in 2022 than they were doing a year or more back.
Did The Stimulus Checks Trigger Inflation?
The three rounds of stimulus checks sent a total of up to $3,200 per person and the final bill from the payments alone is expected to have cost the federal administration close to half a trillion dollars.
Each round of the stimulus check payments has varied on the maximum amount sent to each person and how many families qualify to receive the payments. The second round of the payments was the least generous on multiple counts and came around 9months after the first one. However, it also led to the inclusion of some people who missed out during the first round.
The third round was more progressive on multiple counts and was more generous from multiple angles. Many dependents and their families benefitted from such changes as also mixed-status citizens.
But many economists are being cautious as they believe that the stimulus checks, especially the Economic Impact Payment triggered inflation.
It is in some respect true as the second and third stimulus checks came close together. People had excess money on their hands and even after spending on immediate needs, had enough to pay off debts, invest in savings, or spend on goods.
It is this third option that led to a spurt in demand which upset the supply-demand chain, which was delicately balanced in the first place.
The supply chain disruption that was caused due to the pandemic was complicated by the high demand for goods that manufacturers could not meet. This led to a shortage of goods and consequently, prices began to rise. So while the stimulus checks were partially responsible for the inflation rate, it is bad enough across the pond in UK and Western European nations.
The war in Europe further complicated matters as Russia is the third largest supplier of gas and oil in the world and the sanctions imposed on it for its war against Ukraine have backfired badly for the NATO nations in Europe and the US.
States move in with inflation relief measures even as the federal administration remains silent on the issue.
States Across The Political Spectrum Join In With Inflation Relief Measures
Around 14 States Have Already Declared Stimulus Checks For Their Residents. Around a third of American states are offering inflation relief stimulus checks for their residents. While 18 states have already spoken up about their intention to send stimulus checks to their residents, several states among them have started making stimulus checks to their residents or have received their stimulus checks In their lockers.
Maine and New Mexico were the first among states off the mark. While Maine sent a stimulus check of $850 for individuals and double that to joint filers, New Mexico sent three stimulus checks to residents starting in June.
The latest to join the list are two states that are diametrically opposite in more ways than one. While California is giving support to over two-thirds of the residents of California, Republicans ruled Florida, one of the states to open bait President Biden for the third stimulus check.
California’s residents will get a $1,050 check. the state also did away with the sales tax on diesel and will also be aiding people who need assistance and pick up their services or rent
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vehemently opposed stimulus checks of late. But prompted by the situation, he has picked up the tab to send a $450 per child stimulus check that covers 60,000 residents in the state.
Other residents to receive stimulus checks include the state of Colorado, which will receive $750 each and double that for individuals.
Delaware has also approved a Relief Rebate one-off payment that will be worth $300 for individuals and $600 for married couples filing jointly.
Georgia is also sending out stimulus checks from the surplus it has enjoyed and is offering a $50 stimulus check rebate and double that for $500. Household reds will receive $350 for household heads.
Residents of Hawaii who have earned less than $100,000 in adjusted gross income in 2021 will get a $300 rebate tax while. The same amount goes to married couples earning $200,000 or less.
Idaho is giving a $75 stimulus check to each taxpayer and their dependents. Indiana is sending out a $125 check to all its residents.
The New Jersey governor has proposed a $500 payment who have filed their returns using a taxpayer ID instead of any social networking system.
Front line workers in Minnesota can apply for a $750 check.