- Anyone hoping for a new stimulus check update soon will be pleased to know that a key White House official has confirmed on the record that new coronavirus stimulus legislation is coming soon.
- The next question is whether or not that legislation will include a much-talked-about second round of stimulus checks.
- If it does, it will still need to be determined how big those stimulus checks are, and who gets them. Lawmakers have been talking about making the new checks more targeted than last time.
“There may be some targeted, directed assistance from direct-mail checks to individuals and families …”
Those are the words of White House economic advisor and former CNBC personality Larry Kudlow, who in a new interview ran through a grab bag of benefits that the Trump administration is pondering for possible inclusion in a new stimulus package. A package that, yes, Kudlow also confirmed is coming soon, and could provide individuals still suffering through the pain of the coronavirus pandemic with anything from a return-to-work bonus to a payroll tax holiday, which Kudlow estimated could result in a 6.5% increase in peoples’ after-tax wages.
“We’re looking at a lot of things,” Kudlow said in his interview with the Fox Business network, adding that the president does want a payroll tax holiday to be part of the mix — and there may also be an extension of some sort to the Paycheck Protection Program. That program, according to the US Small Business Administration, offers loans “designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.”
According to the SBA, the PPP has resumed accepting loan applications from businesses thanks to President Trump signing legislation that extends the program. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8.
As we noted yesterday, meanwhile, any inclusion of new stimulus checks as part of the next coronavirus stimulus relief legislation passed by Congress will in all likelihood rely on the status of three data points — jobless data, President Trump’s approval numbers, and the trajectory of new coronavirus cases. All three of those metrics are pretty terrible right now, leading us to conclude the administration will most assuredly go back to the well and push out new direct payments to Americans.
“As you read the reports and talk to people on both sides of the aisle on the Hill, it is increasingly clear that there will be an additional package,” Kudlow said on the Fox Business program Varney and Co. “We will try to make it targeted, we will try to incentivize not just work, although work is crucial, and going back to work. We want to incentivize investments, we want a pro-growth package.”
In terms of the “targeted” nature of new stimulus benefits, this lines up with a proposal floated by some lawmakers to only send out new stimulus checks to people whose annual income is capped at something like $40,000. My prediction, however, is for smaller checks to a wider number of people, as opposed to targetting only a smaller slice of the American public than last time, but we’ll see.