Congress and the White House Are Inching Closer to a ‘Helicopter Money’ Response to Coronavirus Crisis

In the past, the federal government has sent everyone checks to stimulate the economy. But paying for all the losses that come with a coronavirus-induced shutdown would require more novel policies.

by Christian Britschgi

Cutting every single American a check was once the zany idea of a long-shot Democratic presidential candidate (Hi, Andrew Yang!). It’s now the consensus policy response to an imminent coronavirus-induced recession.

“We’re looking at sending checks to people immediately,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at a press briefing. “Many companies have shut down, whether it’s bars or restaurants. Americans need cash now, and I mean now in the next two weeks.”

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) endorsed a minimum one-time transfer of $1,000 to all Americans as part of a broader set of economic relief proposals.

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