Better, Faster, Stronger Cash Stimulus

8 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020 Last revised: 20 Jul 2020

Date Written: May 23, 2020

Abstract

The 2019-2020 Coronavirus pandemic has revealed the relative lack of an effective strategy for the US Government to quickly get cash stimulus payments into the hands of those who need them. I propose two policy solutions. First, I suggest that stimulus payments should be dispersed universally, with post-crisis means testing through extra levies based on financial situation during the actual crisis. Second, I recommend the leveraging of cooperation with the banking sector in the deployment of payments. For CARES Act payments, these solutions might have saved over $3 billion in value for Americans in need, along with incalculable levels of financial distress to families. They could in future be adopted individually or jointly, and the adoption of initially universal payments may be argued for as particularly electorally beneficial for incumbents. In general, planning for the next situation when cash payments are desired should begin as soon as possible.

Keywords: stimulus, economics, government, coronavirus, transfer, means-testing, universal, banking, IRS

Suggested Citation

Liu, Isaac, Better, Faster, Stronger Cash Stimulus (May 23, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3608774 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3608774

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