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Misguided Petition Demanding Permanent Monthly $2,000 Stimulus Checks Nears Huge Milestone

September 22, 2021 5 Comments

This article was written by Brad Polumbo and originally published at FEE.org

The federal government has already spent an astounding $42,000+ per federal taxpayer on ostensibly-COVID-related relief and spending programs. (Did you see that much in benefits?) Yet millions of Americans are evidently unsatisfied—and are demanding permanent $2,000 monthly “stimulus” checks.

A Change.org petition originally created in 2020 continues to gain support and is now closing in on 3 million signatures. As Newsweek reports, reaching this huge milestone would make it one of the most popular Change.org petitions of all time.

Fourth stimulus check update: Petition for monthly $2,000 nears 2.9 million supporters https://t.co/BCvmdiHPHE

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 18, 2021

The petition calls on Congress “to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis.” An addendum to the petition argues that Congress should set up “stimulus” checks that automatically kick in when certain economic thresholds are reached, applying to the current pandemic and all future recessions.

Simply put, a lot of people want a lot more taxpayer-financed checks. Here’s why this push is so misguided.

The petition is being promoted under the hashtag #MoneyForthePeople, and with the general argument that the American people deserve financial support during what continues to be a difficult time for many. Yet the entire concept of permanent stimulus checks as “giving money to the people” is falsely framed.

Resources cannot be created out of thin air. And, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, “the trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Indeed, you run out of it very quickly. Such a vast public expenditure can and will not be financed solely by taxing “the rich” or “Big Business,” both mathematically speaking and because they have the resources to easily evade taxes or pass along the costs.

Here’s the simple truth. To give working-class Americans monthly “stimulus” checks would require, directly or indirectly, vastly increasing the taxes those same Americans must pay. To pretend otherwise is to fall victim to what economist Ludwig von Mises dubbed the “Santa Claus principle.”

“The truth is the government cannot give if it does not take from somebody,” Mises explained in Bureaucracy. “The government and its chiefs do not have the powers of the mythical Santa Claus. They cannot spend except by taking out of the pockets of some people for the benefit of others.”

This is why many government “stimulus” schemes don’t actually stimulate the economy at all. They simply move money around, taking it from one place in the economy and redistributing it elsewhere—typically losing much of it to waste and fraud in the process. So, too, the newfound destination for the funds is virtually always less economically productive than the original, because it’s determined by political influences rather than market factors.

The same flaws plague the push for perpetual $2,000 relief checks.

You aren’t truly helping anyone by taking money out of their wallet and placing it back a few months later, or by doing the reverse. And, in keeping with the federal government’s penchant for efficiency, the first several rounds of stimulus checks involved billions sent to dead people and millions sent to random Europeans. Similar dysfunction would inevitably accompany more permanent redistribution schemes.

It’s eminently understandable that Americans continuing to struggle would be drawn to the idea of perpetual “free” government aid. Yet the idea of getting something for nothing is just a soothing fiction—just like Santa Claus.

 

 

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Brandon Smith

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5 Comments

  • Gauntlet33 September 22, 2021 at 10:07 am

    @Brad Polumbo, you’re totally right, but I’m sure you’re mostly preaching to the choir as Conservatives innately understand this concept, whereas lazy libtard liberals only understand the “I want / give me” mentality.

  • Nemo September 22, 2021 at 10:23 am

    This petition is crazy and demonstrates how detached Americans are from reality. It’s almost as dangerous as not knowing that walking off the side of the Grand Canyon will kill you. I’m married and have 11 children. What they’re asking for would give me $15K per month in addition to what my current income is.

    The people asking for this have no idea how poor this will make them as the price of everything around them would sky-rocket as more money would be chasing fewer goods.

    Also, the trouble with supposedly-temporary, regular payments is that it makes the system addicted to it. When inflation occurs due to the stimulus, when the stimulus stops, the pain for all those that became dependent on it will sharply rise. This will then provide the central planners another excuse to try making it a permanent UBI setup.

  • Scott September 23, 2021 at 4:12 am

    While it’s true you can’t sustain programs like this for long, make no mistake, the government’s stated and unstated spending isn’t close to being taxpayer funded. There is a lot of digital printing going on already. When the dollar finally collapses, and it will, the show will be over and the day of reckoning will have come.

  • Bill September 24, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    This is simply a result of the engineered stupidity created by media overload. You can find any answer you want on the internet, even if it isn’t true. Everybody is always right. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. Men can have babies. We have the right to …..everything!!
    Guess what? The party is real close to being over.

  • osi October 1, 2021 at 5:39 am

    There’s no checks and balances.
    They are printing trillions and their cronies are benefiting.
    Look at Blackrock buying up all of the available single-family home real estate.

    Inflation is the hidden tax -that’s what’s happening -the quantity of dollars to any means of accounting for it has gone out the window.

    $2000 per person is just an acceleration of the demise that will happen sooner or later.

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