A new poll conducted by SurveyMonkey has discovered significant support for a new round of coronavirus stimulus checks—with 19 percent of respondents backing $1,400 checks, but a further 46 percent wanting an even bigger cash windfall.
For the survey, more than eleven hundred Americans were asked an open-ended question: “What amount would you support for a new round of stimulus checks paid out to Americans?”
Here’s the breakdown of how they responded: 5 percent said the amount should be $0; 11 percent amount less than $500; 5 percent between $500 and $999; 13 percent between $1,000 and $1,399; 19 percent $1,400; 5 percent between $1,401 and $1,999; 26 percent $2,000; and 16 percent more than $2,000.
The House of Representatives is poised to pass the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package later this week. The massive bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks for all eligible Americans, among other targeted economic benefits.
The bill is widely expected to advance to the Senate after the House vote, then it will likely face a new round of hurdles.
“I’m prepared to hear ideas about how to make the American Rescue Plan better and cheaper,” President Joe Biden said Monday. “But we have to make clear who we’re helping and who it would hurt.”
One recent study has suggested that not giving out any sort of payment to households making more than $75,000 a year would be the most economically prudent.
The analysis, conducted by Opportunity Insights, showed that families earning under about $75,000 generally spend the money quickly. But for households earning more than $78,000 (and singles earning more than $50,000), they are likely to spend just $45 of a $600 stimulus check over the first month.
Scaled up to $1,400 payments, that would mean only $105 would be spent.
“Targeting the next round of stimulus payments toward lower-income households would save substantial resources that could be used to support other programs, with minimal impact on economic activity,” the study’s authors wrote.
However, new data from a Census Bureau report showed that Americans leveraged their previous stimulus checks in January to boost retail sales for the month by 5.3 percent. Most economists were expecting a rise of just over 1 percent.
With many shoppers armed with $600 checks, electronics and appliances saw the largest increase, up 14.7 percent for the month, while furniture and home furnishing stores were up 12 percent, and online spending at non-store retailers rose 11 percent. Even restaurants and bars, which have suffered terribly during the pandemic, witnessed a 6.9 percent spike.
Since January 2020, online shopping was the biggest winner with 28.7 percent, while building materials rose 19 percent, and sporting goods 22.5 percent.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.