California Legislators Reach Agreement To Give ‘Stimulus Checks’ to Millions Of Residents – This week, California legislators reached an agreement on the framework for the 2022-2023 budget. Under the agreement, millions of California residents will receive tax rebate payments to help manage the rising cost of fuel, food, and household goods.
In a joint statement with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom said that a $17 billion inflation relief package formed the “centerpiece” of the agreement.
“The centerpiece of the agreement, a $17 billion inflation relief package, will offer tax refunds to millions of working Californians. Twenty-three million Californians will benefit from direct payments of up to $1,050. The package will also include a suspension of the state sales tax on diesel, and additional funds to help people pay their rent and utility bills,” Newsom said.
The Democratic governor was not shy about the purpose of the checks, acknowledging that rising inflation and current economic conditions are making it difficult for Americans to pay their bills.
Newsom announced the news in a tweet, revealing that middle-class Californians will receive as much as $1,050 to help “fill your gas tank and put food on the table.”
NEW: Millions of Californians will be receiving up to $1,050 as part of a NEW middle class tax rebate.
That’s more money in your pocket to help you fill your gas tank and put food on the table.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 27, 2022
New Stimulus Checks: Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility is broken down into three income thresholds.
Taxpayers who file individually and make less than $75,000 will receive $350 in tax rebates. Joint filers who earn less than $150,000 will receive a total of $700. If those filers have at least one dependent, they will receive an additional $350.
Single filers making between $75,001 and $125,000 will be eligible for a $250 rebate, while joint filers with an income between $150,001 and $250,000 will be eligible for $500. Households are this income level will receive an additional $250 if they have at least one dependent.
And finally, single filers earning between $125,000 and $250,000 will be eligible for a rebate of $200,000, while joint filers making between $250,001 and $500,000 will be eligible for a $400 rebate. Those in this category with at least one dependent will receive an additional $200.
Anybody earning more than $250,000, or a household earning more than $500,000, will not receive any rebate.
Other Measures In the Deal
Legislators also agreed to several other measures within the same deal, including a suspension of diesel sales tax. The move will reduce the cost of diesel, which is substantially more expensive than regular gas in California and across the rest of the country, by 23 cents per gallon.
The suspension will last one year.
The deal also promises to make California the first state in the country to “achieve universal access to health care coverage,” but no details were provided on how the state government intends to achieve this.
But Could ‘Stimulus Checks’ Just make the Situation Even Worse? One Expert Sounds Off
While on the surface, stimulus checks sound like a good idea, especially as gas prices keep going up and up and inflation seems to be getting worse. But some experts say this might be a really bad idea over the long term.
“Last year, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, together with the Fed’s ultra-loose monetary policy, contributed to economic overheating and to an acceleration in consumer price inflation to 8 ½ percent or to its highest level since 1982,” explained Dr. Desmond Lachman, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the former deputy director in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department.
“In the same way that an irresponsibly excessive budget stimulus was an important part of last year’s inflation problem, this year a more responsible budget policy should be part of inflation’s solution. That would reduce at least some pressure on the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates to bring inflation back under control. The states could play an important part in fighting inflation by foregoing spending in the form of new stimulus checks of the excess money that they have left over from last year’s American Rescue Plan.”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.