Mark Cuban, a self-made billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said American households should receive a $1,000 stimulus check every two weeks over the next two months to help them survive amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In May, Cuban made the same proposal. “I still believe in doing it the same exact way,” he said during an interview with CNBC Make It on Wednesday. His idea was, Americans who will get a stimulus check must spend it within ten days or it will expire. He called it a “use it or lose it” interim spending stimulus program.
The self-made billionaire explained that currently, Americans are experiencing “two economies” or two sets of realities—one for those who are capable of surviving and one for those who cannot.
The latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there were 13.6 million jobless Americans in August. The nation’s unemployment rate was 8.4%.
Cuban said, “Those without [help] are struggling badly. We need to get them [some] help.” He believes that the federal government should provide a $1,000 bi-weekly stimulus check to Americans no matter their income level.
“The whole goal is to get that money every two weeks into the economy. 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,” he explained.
Mark Cuban’s idea of “use it or lose it” stimulus program will not work
Chuck Marr, the senior director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, commented that Cuban sees the “urgency of the situation” and his proposal is “good” and it would be more effective if the stimulus will be given those who are really in need.
“What’s good about and what’s important is, he [referring to Cuban] reflects the urgency of the situation. But, I think you target money first for people that are hurting. People who are hurting and don’t have other income, they’re going to spend. I think if you did stimulus payments, they need to be targeted by income,” said Marr.
He added that giving stimulus to affluent Americans will not spend the money. They will save so Cuban’s idea of “use it or lose it” will not work because “the federal government could not keep track of that.”
Marr reiterated that he supports Cuban’s point that “additional stimulus payments” are necessary “on top of substantial unemployment and nutrition support.” He noted, “That combination of unemployment insurance and the stimulus checks in the spring and summer was very effective. It kept support for low- and middle-income people.”
Right now, Congress is at a standstill on the issue of providing another stimulus package for Americans. The House passed a $3 trillion stimulus bill in May but the Senate rejected it.
Earlier this month, the Senate Republican tried to advance stimulus legislation worth $500 billion but failed to get enough votes to move towards final passage. House Democrats will surely reject a skinny plan to avert the economic crisis while the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over.
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