There is no doubt we’re in a public health crisis, and the plummeting stock market and strain businesses large and small are already facing make it abundantly clear that we’re on the precipice of a full-blown economic crisis. For the millions of Americans already living paycheck-to-paycheck, the financial instability brought on by this moment presents an even more dire situation. This crisis has exposed the deep foundational cracks in our economy, but it also provides the opportunity to fill them.
To do the most good for the most people, a cash stimulus should be:
- Big — at the scale of the crisis
- Immediate — not a trickle like a payroll tax
- Lasting — until the economy recovers
That’s why we’ve proposed Emergency Money to the People. This policy provides swift financial support to Americans earning up to $100,000 — that’s three-quarters of Americans. Emergency Money to the People would provide $2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child immediately to nearly 250 million Americans — and continues payments quarterly until the economy recovers, stabilizing families most at risk while also boosting the economy.
We’re seeing a number of exciting cash-based proposals (from Senator Mitt Romney; Senators Michael Bennet, Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown; in addition to Representatives Tim Ryan and Ro Khanna) emerge from Congressional leaders already, and the political landscape will change quickly. We need to get money into people’s pockets as quickly as possible. Businesses are feeling the shockwaves of social distancing, and we will see more people lose contracts, jobs and customers. There’s only one thing that can make the pain of the next few months bearable for a broad swath of the American people: money to pay rent. Money to care for family. Money to keep our economy moving. Money to stay healthy.