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Key Facts

The Truth About Stimulus Checks
Not Used as Intended
In the midst of national emergencies, many presidents have tried to boost the economy by providing short-term stimulus payments to Americans regardless of need. The hope is that Americans will quickly spend the money, increasing consumer demand and improving the economy. But rather than spend the money, many people who receive stimulus checks pay down debts or put it in their bank accounts.
Piling Debt
The end result is that the stimulus checks do little to help the economy, while they add billions of dollars to the mounting federal debt.
A Bad Omen
This increased borrowing tells people today that their taxes will be higher in the future. As a result, businesses are less likely to hire new workers and people are less likely to spend money that they’ll need later. That leads to lower economic growth, even in the short run.
Targeted Assistance
Short-run assistance can be justified on humanitarian grounds, not on the discredited idea of stimulating the economy. That means it should be focused on small businesses and individuals who have suffered hardship from government-imposed lockdowns. Ultimately, good long-term policy will lead to a more robust short-term recovery.