$1.9 trillion – that is a lot of money. When politicians market this amount as stimulus to help all Americans, we have to realize it will help a few much more than most everyone else.
President Joe Biden has said every taxpayer will receive $1,400 in this stimulus. There is a problem though. Take $1.9 trillion and divide by the number of United States taxpayers –144.3 million according to the Tax Foundation – and each taxpayer should receive $13,167.
There is a huge difference between $1,400 and $13,167 – only $11,767! Where’s is that extra $11,767 going? This is where most Americans lose.
The extra $11,767 per taxpayer is going towards other projects that will directly benefit only a few – while most average American taxpayers will receive no direct benefit. There are funds to cover unemployment benefits and renters assistance, payments to help pay utility bills, hundreds of billions of dollars to government workers who haven’t missed a paycheck, event centers, education, and a whole lot of other items -- including lots of fraud.
Just from the March 2020 stimulus, recent investigations have found that a lot of money, especially unemployment claims, went to fraudsters. In California alone, $11.4 billion in unemployment benefits went to criminals including many who are currently in prison. Another 17% (or $19.4 billion) of the total $114 billion paid out is currently under investigation for unqualified claims that were paid out. According to the L.A. Times, two Orange County business owners publicized their criminal activities in Vietnamese. Almost $500,000 was recovered in cash from fraudulent claims. That's only one case. And this is just one state -- California! What is happening elsewhere!
$1.9 trillion – no one can even count that high! Some of these proposals are needed, but many are not and just invite criminal behavior. Even when they are needed, the government too often throws truckloads of money at anything Congress can think of. The results are less than productive. Eventually, a few opportunists get to enrich themselves without providing any real benefit to Americans. Who loses? The remaining taxpayers.
So, where will the extra $11,767 go? It will go into the hands more often of those who are out to enrich themselves. Then in a couple of months, some Americans will be asking for more money as a handout – and we will be responsible for a bigger deficit and paying even more interest on the federal debt, resulting in less opportunities in the future. The vicious cycle will never end.
Money by itself doesn’t solve problems. Most people want to work. The biggest stimulus the government could do for Americans – build on policies (with selective monetary support) that can provide more sustainable long-term employment opportunities. By doing such, more Americans can purchase homes and build personal wealth.
Constantly giving out trillions in money is not going to solve the economic ills of today – it just prolongs them at a greater cost. Helping companies expand employment opportunities for more Americans is the best stimulus.