How $2,000 stimulus checks could save the American economy
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) addresses the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (mark reinstein/

If the vote was held today in the U.S. Senate, Americans would have $2,000 checks on the way. Even Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue revised their opposition to it after their Democratic opponents hammered them for supporting stingy bailouts for companies over people.

Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked even holding a vote on the bill, presumably because it would pass. It's unclear why he would want to stop $2,000 checks to Americans, even if such checks would stimulate small businesses, the economy, landlords and others struggling in the COVID economy.

One of the top benefits of a $2,000 stimulus check is some tenants behind on their rent could catch up. For many, it might not be enough, but the jobs crisis has turned into a rental crisis with people unable to pay to stay in their homes. But things are bad for small landlords too. Non-corporate landlords, particularly landlords of color, run the risk of losing the home that they're renting and their tenants can be evicted. Everyone loses.

The same could be said for state and municipal governments, which were stiffed with strict rules on what stimulus aid could be spent on. For municipal utility companies, that means all the users who can't pay their bills can't be alleviated by any of the stimulus funds. That $2,000 checks mean families could pay those back heating bills and keep it warm through the winter.

For families of essential workers, childcare is always a struggle, particularly if your shift is outside of a typical 9 to 5 job. Childcare in a pandemic has been even worse. That $2,000 could not only help essential workers but stimulate the childcare industry or help families supplement neighborhood friends who can pitch in and babysit. It's a desperate need as large businesses, like Florida State University, refuse to make allowances for parents during a time of crisis.

"As parents struggle with this new reality, some employers are not showing much flexibility. Florida State University announced that effective Aug. 7, employees can no longer care for children while working remotely," reported the Washington Post in July.

Fiscal stimulus legislation that includes direct payments to Americans is "the most effective means of providing fiscal stimulus is via direct payments to citizens," reported Forbes in September. "Give a person money, and chances are they'll spend it on something, so the theory goes. But it's not just conventional wisdom: studies bear out the point."

"Compared to industry bailouts and tax incentives, direct payments in the form of stimulus checks are a relatively recent phenomenon," the report continued. "In the brief recession of 2001, The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRA) sent tax rebates (as a result of tax cuts) as checks. These were part tax incentive, part direct stimulus payment."

The evidence is clear that any official who cares about the stability of the economy would support the largest payments they can pass. The $2,000 direct payment has already passed the House with a two-thirds majority and Republican Senators have already indicated they support the legislation. It's unknown why they're unwilling to fight McConnell to increase the payments.