Next Stimulus Package will be jobs-focused: Mnuchin says Different Ideas are being Discussed
Only days after President Donald Trump told Americans he was in favor of a second stimulus check going out to the masses, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took the conversation in a different direction.
At a Tuesday luncheon, White House representatives and mostly GOP lawmakers took the current state of the economy to the task. They were looking for the right answers to solve the very complex problem of getting the economy rolling again as the battle against Coronvirus pandemic rages on throughout the nation.Read More »
In the initial stimulus bill, the U.S. government gifted U.S. citizens a stimulus payment of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples, and an additional $500 per dependent under the age of 17 years old. This is the program President Trump alluded to when he stated he favored a second stimulus check going out to taxpayers.
Mnuchin Wants to Focus More on Jobs and Job Creation
Not everyone in the Trump administration and Congress is fully behind the idea of giving citizens more money. Some officials feel it only serves as a bandaid for people who need it while not making any difference at all for the residents/citizens who don’t need it.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is looking for a more substantive solution, targeting jobs and job creation. It’s important to keep in mind that the House has already passed the HEROES Act, which would have sent more money to residents and hit some of Mnuchin’s targets. However, the bill has no chance of passing the Senate because the GOP side feels it reads like more of a Democrat wishlist than a real solution.
Here’s what Mnuchin told reporters about what he believes another stimulus package should look like:
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“We’re talking about a bunch of different ideas that we may need to do in another bill, and we want to take our time and make sure we’re thoughtful. So whatever we do it’ll be much more targeted, much more focused on jobs, bringing back jobs, and making sure we take care of our kids.”
Given the fact unemployment rates just recently ticked back up into the 14% range, it makes sense that something needs to be done to get American workers back to work. Of course, that could be easier said than done if small businesses won’t be reopening, leaving millions of Americans Looking for jobs.
Options Being Bandied About
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With so much weighing on the minds of Americans with economic struggles, the virus pandemic, plus political and racial unrest, everyone in Washington has a strong opinion about how to allocate future stimulus resources.
With over 45 million unemployment claims sitting on the books, there is a large group of lawmakers who believe expanding unemployment benefits would make sense. It might also allow Congress to correct a mistake they made in the first stimulus bill.
In that bill, unemployed workers have an opportunity to claim federal unemployment benefits of up to an additional $600 week on top of their state unemployment benefits. It didn’t people long to figure out this part of the bill created a huge incentive for workers to not return to work. With this part of the bill expiring on July 31, 2020, there’s a need to look at this very soon.
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Another option being bandied about is the possibility of a $450 back-to-work bonus to motivate workers to return to work as soon as possible. Of course, this would only benefit the people who still have jobs to which they can return. It would effectively do nothing for the people who are already working or looking for jobs but can’t find them because the economy is slow to recover.
Some of the other ideas under consideration include payroll tax waivers for employers to motivate hiring and federal tax cuts for employers and employees. Some lawmakers are even suggesting stimulus benefits for targeted industries such as a $4,000 travel tax deduction for people who are willing to fly domestically and get American planes back in the air.
Aside from the aforementioned ideas, there will certainly be heavy discussions about helping cities/states and taking this opportunity to allocate funds for massive infrastructure projects. In both of these cases, job opportunities would open up for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Is the Idea of Stimulus Checks to Residents Dead on Arrival?
At this point, no one has taken the possibility of sending Americans another check off the table. With that said, some top lawmakers just don’t believe its the best way to spend money right now.
It seems to be a bit of a waiting game. With the nation facing so much strife at this time, it’s difficult to gauge individual needs. It hasn’t helped that thousands of American businesses are being wiped out by rioters in some of America’s biggest cities. The damage being caused will only serve to slow down any meaningful recovery.
To answer the titled question, the President and many members of Congress do feel a second stimulus check is appropriate. With that said, there are debt concerns. If the government is going to expand the federal deficit by another $1.5 to $2.0 trillion, they want to make sure that the way they allocate funds will prove to be fruitful.
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