by David Stockman
Surely the very idea of sending out $300 billion worth of $1,200 checks to the overwhelming bulk of American adults to combat a government-ordered supply side shock is the height of Washington mendacity. These checks are intended for no other rational purpose than to function as a Donald Trump signed bribe payment to the voters.
For want of doubt, consider the findings of the Congressional Research Service with respect to the first round of helicopter checks sent out in April. It showed that 82% of families got the full amount of eligibility ($1,200 for adults and $500 for minor children); families with incomes between $66,000 and $121,000 (fourth quintile) got an average of $2,029 each; and that only 8% of US families at the tippy-top of the income ladder got nothing at all.
As we show below, the overwhelming share of these recipients did not loose their job or even suffer diminished pay levels. So what in the world was Washington doing send out upwards of 130 million of these checks to people who have not been economically dinged by the Covid?