Why some states are sending out a stimulus check again: To help bolster the U.S. economy at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, U.S. lawmakers took a bold course of action and passed a $2.2-trillion stimulus package. It was followed by two more installments of coronavirus relief later in 2020 and then again in 2021. In total, it added up to one of the most generous fiscal responses to the virus globally – but some economists have argued it also resulted in the near-record high inflation that is now impacting Americans.
There is evidence that the stimulus, notably the final round, may have stoked higher and higher prices, and in turn, impacted the very people it was actually intended to help. The payments certainly fueled the inflation, even if the other issues – including supply chain bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine, which spiked oil prices – are also to blame.
Americans in Need
It could be argued that Americans are hurting as much, and perhaps even more than they were at this time two years ago when the first checks were hitting bank accounts. Gasoline prices are close to a national average of $5 per gallon, while everything from food to rent has increased at rates not seen since the early 1980s.
President Joe Biden has proposed a federal gas tax holiday, which could save Americans about 18.4 cents per gallon, while other plans have called for sending Americans a gas rebate card. Whether that would actually help, or just further drive up prices, is still being questioned.
More Stimulus Checks Coming
Direct financial help could also be on the way, at least for residents in a few states. In May, it was announced that residents in California, Colorado, Delaware, and Indiana could receive stimulus payments. The Golden State Stimulus I (GGS 1) and Golden State Stimulus II (GSS II) would see many Californians receiving upwards of $1,200, followed by as much as $1,100. Californians who earn less than $75,000 a year and who filed their taxes by October 15, 2021, will qualify.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill in late May to send payments of at least $400 to taxpayers this year, with payments expected to arrive in September. The State of Delaware was also looking to send around $300 to individuals, or $600 to married couples. The rebates will be made to Delaware residents who have filed a personal income tax return for 2020. The rebate also applies to residents who did not earn enough to file taxes in 2020.
In Indiana, those who filed taxes as individuals are set to receive a payment of $125, while married couples will receive $250. Any person who filed taxes in the state before January 3, 2022, will be eligible. Georgia residents could see rebate payments, as could those in Hawaii later this year; while Idaho began distributing $75 rebate payments to its residents in March.
On June 1, Maine began to send stimulus payments of $850 to residents, while some frontline workers in Minnesota could also expect a one-time payment of $750 later this year. New Jersey, which had sent some taxpayers a “Middle-Class Tax Rebate” of up to $500 last year, is now exploring an option to send $500 to residents. Multiple rebates have also been approved in New Mexico, including a $250 stimulus check for residents making under $75,000 annually, while an additional $500 rebate will be sent to all taxpayers in the Land of Enchantment.
The hope is that these payments will actually help those Americans who are having a hard time making ends meet and that it won’t only serve to further drive up inflation for everyone else.
Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.