[Commentary]: Congress Should Pass Recurring Monthly Stimulus Checks

The best way to avert future economic catastrophe is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We the People simply require our leaders to invest in us.

Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Nearly five dozen Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill led by Representative Ilhan Omar (D-IL) – including Vice President Kamala Harris – have asked President Joe Biden to push for monthly payments while schools and business begin to reopen.

“One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis,” Omar said after sending a letter to the White House in March. “To truly build back better, families need stability and certainty through ongoing relief – they cannot be at the mercy of Congressional gridlock.”

Additionally, more than two million Americans have signed a petition drafted by a Colorado restaurant-owner demanding that Congress pass recurring $2,000 stimulus checks to give citizens and families the disposable income they need to keep the economy afloat.

It states:

Remember when we got that 1st check and it helped? Remember when we waited for months and months while Congress stalled before sending a small second check, and then we waited again for a third check? Tell us how that start & stop was frustrating, how did you benefit from the stimulus checks or struggled in between? These stories make a huge difference! As our country moves forward with higher vaccinations rates each day, and safety restrictions loosened I share your feelings of never wanting to look back at this wretched year. But PAUSE 1 minute: let’s make sure if there is a next time, we get the help we need faster. 

Sending people a $2,000 check every month would be an investment that would keep families in their homes while giving them money to spend, which is the foundation of our economy.

Out-of-work parents with young children in economically devastated areas would no longer have to choose between paying for childcare and putting food on the table. Taxpayer-funded bailouts for landlords and gigantic property management conglomerates would no longer be necessary.

Guaranteed income would also help borrowers qualify for credit to start a business, buy a home, purchase a car, or to enjoy themselves once in a while.

Demand happens locally – and it is entirely dependent upon a reliable influx of consumer cash, regardless of how many people are employed, or as economists like to put it, “productive.” This is especially true for jobs that pay less than a living wage.

Direct monthly payments would also give individuals the freedom to pursue education and training for careers that align with their passions and talents, which is something that our short-term-profit-driven economic model regards as unnecessary – or worse still – wasteful.

Furthermore, states and towns could generate revenue through sales taxes, and residents of underserved communities would finally have the opportunity to determine their own destinies. Poverty would become but a distant memory.

Above all else, the richest country in the history of human civilization can afford to do this. What we cannot afford, however, is reverting back to a system that only rewards the wealthy, who have seen their fortunes grow by – literally – trillions of dollars during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With unemployment benefits set to expire in September, and new hiring stalling, millions of Americans face an uncertain future. Instead of “paying people not to work,” the government should pay us to live and fulfill our unique ambitions.

Is that not the American Dream?

Is that not what the Founders meant by “the pursuit of happiness?”

Perhaps this is idealistic, but I believe that there is nothing Americans cannot accomplish when we are provided with the means to do so.

Otherwise, can we honestly call ourselves “free?”

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