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This new $4,000 stimulus plan has a surprising twist that seems brilliant

Published Sep 24th, 2020 1:08PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: methaphum/Adobe
  • Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has a radical new stimulus check idea he’s proposing.
  • His coronavirus stimulus proposal involves giving every American $1,000 every two weeks for two months, which would be $4,000 in total.
  • The catch is that Americans would have only 10 days to spend each new stimulus check, or they would lose the money.

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks who’s also familiar to many Americans as an investor on the ABC show Shark Tank, has a radical idea for what the government needs to do right now in the form of coronavirus stimulus: New stimulus checks of $1,000 for every American. Every two weeks, for the next two months.

That’s $4,000 total — a huge injection of cash into the real economy. It’s definitely on the radical side of all the competing stimulus ideas floating around out there, and it’s something you’ll hear economists refer to as “helicopter money.” That’s a term that means exactly what it sounds like, that this stimulus idea is tantamount to the federal government just dumping a pile of money from a helicopter all over the country. With cash raining down, sort of like that memorable “money rain” scene in the Netflix series Money Heist when there’s a torrent of cash that gets dumped out of a blimp onto the city below, everyone frantically trying to scoop up what they can.

Cuban’s idea, however, has a super important twist compared to every other stimulus idea you’ve heard about or that has been tried during the pandemic. You’ve got 10 days to get rid of each $1,000 stimulus check by spending it, or you’re too late and can’t use it anymore.

“I don’t care what they spend it on,” Cuban told KNX 1070 News Radio about this proposal. “It could be candy, it could be rent, it could be their mortgage, it could be anything they deem necessary or that they want.”

The coronavirus pandemic, in addition to seeing more than 6.9 million cases recorded in the US by the team at Johns Hopkins University (along with more than 200,000 deaths), has caused many Americans to jettison any feeling of optimism or bullishness about the economy and to just save, save, save. Hardly anyone is spending freely right now, be it on visiting restaurants, taking vacations, or going to the movies, to name just a few luxuries, compared to where things stood at this point in 2019. Accordingly, the personal savings rate hit a record high in the US a few months ago, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“The whole goal is to get that money every two weeks into the economy,” Cuban says about his plan, per CNBC. “Once businesses start having demand, even if they’re closed and working online, then there is a reason for them to be able to bring back employees and retain those employees if demand is sustained.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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