President Joe Biden quickly jumped into action after being sworn in, proposing an additional individual stimulus check to individuals as part of a new round of coronavirus aid.
Current proposals call for a $1,400-per-person payment for any individual that earns less than the annual threshold limits — which, so far, remain unchanged at $75,000 per individual and $150,000 per couple filing jointly. This new proposal follows on the heels of a $600-per-qualifying-individual payment that was included in the 2020 year-end stimulus legislation and a $1,200-per-person payment last spring.
We asked two professors and authors of ALM’s Tax Facts with opposing political viewpoints to share their opinions about this new round of individual stimulus funding. Below is a summary of the debate that ensued between the two professors.
Bloink: From an economic standpoint, we’re nowhere near recovering from this pandemic. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. The law passed at the end of the year only takes us through March. American families continue to suffer despite a surprisingly strong stock market that, to be clear, primarily benefits the wealthy in this country. If we don’t provide regular relief at the individual level, the economic recovery will take even longer than necessary.
Byrnes: We just passed a stimulus package — in fact, the ink on that year-end stimulus package is barely dry. We need more time to evaluate how that impacted the economy — and we need to take the time to see how the availability of the vaccine will affect the economy. We can’t keep rushing into simply sending taxpayers a check every few months.