As Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections this week, stimulus checks have not really been a part of the election conversation. Administrations of both parties passed stimulus checks in the opening days of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and to the extent that such checks have been mentioned in the campaign, it has usually been Republicans accusing Democrats of overstimulating and bringing about inflation.
Now, a new survey says a majority of respondents support another round of stimulus checks to lower inflation.
It is perhaps unsurprising that when survey respondents are asked if they are in favor of receiving free money they tend to respond positively.
According to Newsweek, 63 percent of those asked in a Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey favored new stimulus checks to combat inflation, with 42 percent saying they “strongly agree.” In the survey, 18 percent disagreed while 15 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a scholar at The Heritage Foundation, told the publication that despite the survey results, more stimulus checks were nevertheless not a good policy idea.
“In this economic environment, stimulus checks cause inflation, they do not reduce it,” Furchtgott-Roth said. “This is because America has 10 million job openings that need to be filled. This drives up the cost of labor as employers compete for workers. It makes goods more expensive because firms are producing less than they prefer. It makes services more expensive because service-providing organizations, such as restaurants, hotels, and airline companies cannot provide all the services that consumers demand.”
There have not been direct stimulus checks to Americans from the federal government since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in the spring of 2021. There have been various petitions from citizens, and even proposals from members of Congress to keep the stimulus checks coming, but none have gained traction. The White House has been clear that they are done with stimulus rounds.
“[The president] also proposed what he thinks is going to be the most effective for the short term for putting people back to work, to getting through this pivotal period of time, and also to making us more competitive over the long term,” then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said back in the summer of 2021. At the time, Biden was pushing the Build Back Better package, which consisted of huge spending but not direct stimulus checks.
Nineteen different states, including California, Colorado, and Minnesota, have sent out stimulus checks of their own in the last two years, although those dollar amounts have typically been lower than those the federal government sent.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.