Would Biden Ever Consider A 4th Stimulus Check? Expert Analysis of What Could Happen: In February, fake reports circulated on social media claiming that President Joe Biden had approved a fourth round of federal stimulus checks. The reports were quickly disproven by fact-checkers, but the fact that the rumors circulated so widely and so quickly indicated some interest from American taxpayers in receiving another round of direct stimulus.
With inflation at a forty-year high, the Biden administration is undoubtedly aware that the average American worker is struggling to cover the rising costs of food, gas, and consumer goods – but will the White House ever seriously consider another stimulus check?
Maybe, but probably not for a while.
In May last year, as progressive Congressional Democrats were pushing the Biden White House to announce a fourth federal stimulus package, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the onus was on Congress to come up with a plan.
“We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free,” Psaki said.
In the end, Congressional Democrats didn’t move forward with a plan for a fourth stimulus, and the conversation effectively ended. There has been zero indication from the White House or Democratic leadership that a fourth check could be on the way since, but that doesn’t mean there would be no circumstances in which it could happen.
2024 Election Desperation and New Stimulus Check
Stimulus checks during times of economic crisis appear to be popular. In March last year, a Morning Consult poll found that 79% of registered voters supported a stimulus check worth $1,400 for Americans earning up to $75,000 per year. The poll showed 91% support from Democrats and a substantial 67% support among Republicans.
With this in mind, it’s not entirely impossible that the Biden administration would choose to take a fourth stimulus check more seriously in the event that the economy doesn’t improve by the time the 2024 presidential election campaign kicks off. A struggling economy going into 2024 would seriously hamper Biden’s ability to rally the country behind him for a second time, and the polls already show a president struggling to maintain support even within his own party.
The problem with delivering new stimulus, however, is that it would increase demand at a time when the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates to reduce demand and bring down inflation. Stimulus checks may temporarily relieve some pain, but in the long-term just prolong the agony and force the Federal Reserve to continue taking measures to drive that demand back down and get prices under control.
For that reason, though, a stimulus check may just be a good option for the Biden administration in the run-up to the next presidential election. By the time the American public feels the pain again, he’ll have already potentially been re-elected.
The other scenario in which a fourth federal stimulus check could be implemented is a recession.
In July, George Washington University economics professor Tara Sinclair told MoneyWise that stimulus checks have been “common policy in the past” during times of recession and that they would “likely” be a part of the federal government’s response next time a recession arrives.
The question, though, is whether the White House will admit it. The Biden White House has so far rejected the idea that the economy is in a recession despite experiencing two consecutive quarters of negative growth. With the November mid-terms on the way, it’s in the Democrats’ interests to shut down reports and speculation of recession while hoping that the next quarter sees growth.
By 2024, there will have been plenty of time for economists and the American public to make their own assessment of how the economy is doing – and if the Biden administration can no longer deny the obvious, a fourth round of stimulus checks may just become necessary.
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.