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-   -   Instead of payroll tax cut, Trump now plans to send checks directly to Americans, soon (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=891939)

Velocity 03-17-2020 02:48 PM

Instead of payroll tax cut, Trump now plans to send checks directly to Americans, soon
 
Plan is for a big cash infusion within the next 2 weeks, because the payroll tax cut plan (which effect would take 6-8 months to percolate through the economy and be felt) was criticized as much too slow.

Si Amigo 03-17-2020 02:55 PM

nm

Euphonious Polemic 03-17-2020 03:08 PM

How will Trumpco make a profit from this?

Aspidistra 03-17-2020 03:54 PM

Late April, the article says.

That's fine 'n all, but it's not going to help people who want to self-quarantine now pay this month's rent

Steve MB 03-17-2020 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic (Post 22195497)
How will Trumpco make a profit from this?

He probably sees it as a way to salvage his chance of getting re-elected (and thereby not spending the rest of his days as a guest of the State of New York).

RioRico 03-17-2020 10:29 PM

Will the checks be issued by his university?

Chefguy 03-17-2020 10:44 PM

The payroll tax cut would have taken money from Social Security. Secondly, how do you reduce payroll tax on the thousands of workers who are being laid off? Stupid idea.

Kolak of Twilo 03-17-2020 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 22196242)
The payroll tax cut would have taken money from Social Security. Secondly, how do you reduce payroll tax on the thousands of workers who are being laid off? Stupid idea.

Of course it's a stupid idea, Steve Mnuchin suggested it.

TruCelt 03-17-2020 10:58 PM

He is trying to repeat Bush Sr.'s losing strategy of attempting to buy his way back into the good graces of the voters.

By April $1k won't be nearly enough. And if he only sends it to people with jobs, it won't help those who need it most to get through this. :smack:

Mnemnosyne 03-17-2020 11:35 PM

I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

thelurkinghorror 03-17-2020 11:39 PM

I don't pay into Social Security, so that would've helped me zero.

Romney also essentially invented Obamacare. Depending on your POV, he either consistently gets denied credit or avoided credit for things people don't like.

RioRico 03-18-2020 04:24 AM

A few questions.
  • Do all Americans have mailing addresses?
  • Do all Americans need a thousand bucks?
  • Will checks be mailed
    • to homeless camps?
    • to homes vacant after eviction?
    • to RVs and trailers in WalMart parking lots?
    • to US citizens out of the country?
    • to households worth over a million bucks;
    • to emptied college dorms?
    • to sanctuary cities?
  • Will recipients lacking bank accounts pay large check-cashing fees?
  • Will thieves follow postal carriers, emptying home mailboxes?
I won't bother asking about inflation. What's another trillion? Pocket change. :smack:

If not checks, why not cash-cards? Because same problems as checks. Why not direct deposit? Because not everyone has an account. If the money's there, why not spend it on medical supplies and services? Because that would be unacceptably beneficial. No, printing a trillion bucks and strewing cash from gold helicopters is the only solution.

Lord Feldon 03-18-2020 04:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mnemnosyne (Post 22196300)
I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this.

Why? There's a Republican president, so Republicans are pro-stimulus until at least November.

What the .... ?!?! 03-18-2020 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mnemnosyne (Post 22196300)
I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

You aren't really are you?

monstro 03-18-2020 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mnemnosyne (Post 22196300)
I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

They think $1000 will make people forget how much the president has screwed the pooch on this thing. History isn't going to be kind to him on a variety of topics, but it is going to salughter him with respect to his initial response to COVID-19. No matter how semi-presidential his pantomiming is now, the receipts showing how much of a monster he is will live forever.

The sad thing is there will be a segment of the population who will manage to give him and his enabling party a mulligan even on this. They will point to their $1000 check as evidence that he tried to do something. I'm sure there are conservatives who still give Hoover props for his feckless efforts too.

Ruken 03-18-2020 06:30 AM

I recall W Bush pushing out payments a ~decade ago. Does anyone recall how that worked? I vaguely recall it being associated with filing my tax return (maybe a refundable credit?) Not a separate mailing.
I don't think the feds even know where I live. I moved last year. Not that I need a check, but I'm not sure how, mechanically, this is supposed to work.

MrAtoz 03-18-2020 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruken (Post 22196563)
I recall W Bush pushing out payments a ~decade ago. Does anyone recall how that worked? I vaguely recall it being associated with filing my tax return (maybe a refundable credit?) Not a separate mailing.
I don't think the feds even know where I live. I moved last year. Not that I need a check, but I'm not sure how, mechanically, this is supposed to work.

What you're remembering is the economic stimulus of 2008, which did indeed take the form of tax rebates. It was, I think, $300 per person, or $600 for a married couple filing jointly. For most people, it was an additional line on the 1040 form when you filed your taxes.

Even earlier, in 2001, the Bush administration sent out "tax rebate" checks, which involved actually mailing checks to, theoretically, every taxpayer in the country. I think the amounts were the same--$300 for individuals, $600 for married filing jointly--and the checks were sent by the IRS, since they had the records of who lived where and who had payed taxes.

So mailing a check to most of the population is at least theoretically possible. Even if this passes through Congress, I'm not sure whether the issuing of those checks could actually happen as quickly as the President is suggesting. From what I remember in 2001, the checks were spread out over several months. I don't think I got mine until about July or August. I don't know how practical it is to mail checks to everyone within just a few weeks.

Velocity 03-18-2020 11:52 AM

Increasing in size! Now the talk is that it may be $2,000 checks being sent out, but with limits so that the wealthy don't qualify to receive them.

slash2k 03-18-2020 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrAtoz (Post 22196689)
I don't know how practical it is to mail checks to everyone within just a few weeks.

Direct deposit is far more common now than in 2001, of course, so they wouldn't be mailing very many checks at all.

MrAtoz 03-18-2020 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slash2k (Post 22197007)
Direct deposit is far more common now than in 2001, of course, so they wouldn't be mailing very many checks at all.

That's true, of course, and I thought about that. Of course, that would require knowing everyone's bank account number and routing number. I suppose the IRS would have that information for anyone who's gotten a tax refund and had it direct deposited. But there are lots of people who didn't get refunds, or who might have changed banks in the meantime, or who just plain don't have bank accounts at all. There would be a lot of logistical challenges.

Plus all the articles I've seen about it seem to say "checks." Maybe that's just shorthand.

Skypist 03-18-2020 12:38 PM

I remember getting a check then. I don’t think direct deposit was as much of a thing at that time. Everyone in my office was still taking our paycheck to the bank to deposit it every 2 weeks back then.

RioRico 03-18-2020 05:48 PM

How many millions of Americans now lack bank accounts, homes, mailing addresses, and incomes?

D'Anconia 03-18-2020 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RioRico (Post 22196476)
A few questions.
  • Do all Americans have mailing addresses?
  • Do all Americans need a thousand bucks?
  • Will checks be mailed
    • to homeless camps?
    • to homes vacant after eviction?
    • to RVs and trailers in WalMart parking lots?
    • to US citizens out of the country?
    • to households worth over a million bucks;
    • to emptied college dorms?
    • to sanctuary cities?
  • Will recipients lacking bank accounts pay large check-cashing fees?
  • Will thieves follow postal carriers, emptying home mailboxes?
I won't bother asking about inflation. What's another trillion? Pocket change. :smack:

If not checks, why not cash-cards? Because same problems as checks. Why not direct deposit? Because not everyone has an account. If the money's there, why not spend it on medical supplies and services? Because that would be unacceptably beneficial. No, printing a trillion bucks and strewing cash from gold helicopters is the only solution.

How was it handled the last time in 2008?

RivkahChaya 03-18-2020 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skypist (Post 22197070)
I remember getting a check then. I donít think direct deposit was as much of a thing at that time. Everyone in my office was still taking our paycheck to the bank to deposit it every 2 weeks back then.

Direct Deposit has been around since the 80s, It's just been in the last 10 years or so that employers have insisted upon it.

Voyager 03-18-2020 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RioRico (Post 22197621)
How many millions of Americans now lack bank accounts, homes, mailing addresses, and incomes?

You don't need a bank account or an income, assuming the government has your address. Not that many people are going to be losing their houses by April - in California the local governments are forbidding evictions when rent is late due to virus-related reasons.
Which leaves the homeless, and usually giving the homeless $1,000 is not going to be a good idea. There is a move here to use vacant hotel space to house them. Let local governments spend it for them on food, clothing and housing.

Voyager 03-18-2020 07:47 PM

The criticism of the program the last time it was done was that people used it to pay off debt or add to savings, not for consumption, so it didn't help the economy much. The Obama payroll tax cut was to provide people with an incrementally bigger paycheck which would encourage more consumption. This is based on the behavioral economics concept of buckets that you put money into - windfalls go into a different bucket than paychecks, and gets spent or saved differently. I think Sunstein was responsible.

It really won't help now since it is hard to consume if the stores are closed. Making sure everyone gets unemployment insurance payments will help more. But it is still a lot better idea than the payroll cut under current circumstances.

Alley Dweller 03-18-2020 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Voyager (Post 22197821)

It really won't help now since it is hard to consume if the stores are closed. Making sure everyone gets unemployment insurance payments will help more. But it is still a lot better idea than the payroll cut under current circumstances.

There is a big difference between now and then: Amazon is open. And they are hiring 100,000 new workers and giving all workers a $2 an hour pay raise.

I am not saying one company will make all the difference. But there are new segments of the economy that can function even if brick and mortar stores fail.

Velocity 03-18-2020 11:35 PM

Details are out: Democratic and Republican senators have tentatively agreed on a package to send "$2,000 to every American earning less than a million dollars per year."

I was hoping it would have been limited more, so that those who earn $300-999k are also disqualified, but it is what it is.

str8cashhomie 03-18-2020 11:48 PM

America gets means-testing obsessed as it is, but in this case it would be more stupid IMO to waste time poring over everyone's documents to check if they qualify for a means-tested handout and to check for fraud. It's better to just give it to everyone now, and in the future raise taxes on the top brackets (obviously it would take the Dems in power for the second part to happen).

Also, there are probably a lot of small-business owners who have no income source right now but on the books have a gross revenue of hundreds of thousands annually, but it would take a ton of effort to confirm that they actually make under the threshold if you properly account for business expenses and whatnot.

RioRico 03-19-2020 12:24 AM

My SIL (former senior financial executive), facing a cash crunch, just sold stocks low for a cool quarter-million-buck loss. A kilobuck or two won't ease her pain much - she and useless hubby waste a lot. They may yet end up residing in our little RV. But if they talk politics, they'll get a tent in the meadow instead. Charity has limits.

I find US homelessness numbers elusive. Some sources say about about 555k persons on any given night, others point to ~1.5 million children at any time, and up to 20% of college students. I (so far) can't find numbers on Americans lacking mailing addresses, which includes many in Indian reservations and border-area colonias.

Who else likely won't be mailed bailout checks? Will itinerant workers, nursing-home residents, troops, parking-lot campers, the incarcerated, or the recently deceased receive anything?

RioRico 03-19-2020 12:26 AM

server error dupe

Keeve 03-19-2020 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrAtoz (Post 22196689)
What you're remembering is the economic stimulus of 2008, which did indeed take the form of tax rebates. It was, I think, $300 per person, or $600 for a married couple filing jointly. For most people, it was an additional line on the 1040 form when you filed your taxes.

Even earlier, in 2001, the Bush administration sent out "tax rebate" checks, which involved actually mailing checks to, theoretically, every taxpayer in the country. I think the amounts were the same--$300 for individuals, $600 for married filing jointly--and the checks were sent by the IRS, since they had the records of who lived where and who had payed taxes.

Many people seem to have forgotten that in the FOLLOWING year, there was a line on the 1040 for the purpose of repaying that loan. There was never any free money given out. The $300/$600 that we got in the first year was deducted in the second.

I'm trying to find out if this is going to happen again. I'll happily take whatever they offer, but I'd like to know NOW, whether it means that next year's refund will be that much smaller.

slash2k 03-19-2020 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keeve (Post 22198651)
Many people seem to have forgotten that in the FOLLOWING year, there was a line on the 1040 for the purpose of repaying that loan. There was never any free money given out. The $300/$600 that we got in the first year was deducted in the second.

No, there wasn't; I believe you are the one who has forgotten how it worked. There was a line on the 2008 return (due in 2009) to REPORT how much you received, which enabled those who did not receive the full amount originally to claim an additional credit, but it wasn't a deduction and you did not have to repay anything.

See the 2008 Form 1040, line 70, and the accompanying instructions on pages 61 through 63.

DrDeth 03-19-2020 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RioRico (Post 22196476)
A few questions.
  • Do all Americans have mailing addresses?
  • Do all Americans need a thousand bucks?
  • Will checks be mailed
    • to homeless camps?
    • to homes vacant after eviction?
    • to RVs and trailers in WalMart parking lots?
    • to US citizens out of the country?
    • to households worth over a million bucks;
    • to emptied college dorms?
    • to sanctuary cities?
  • Will recipients lacking bank accounts pay large check-cashing fees?
  • Will thieves follow postal carriers, emptying home mailboxes?
I won't bother asking about inflation. What's another trillion? Pocket change. :smack:

If not checks, why not cash-cards? Because same problems as checks. Why not direct deposit? Because not everyone has an account. If the money's there, why not spend it on medical supplies and services? Because that would be unacceptably beneficial. No, printing a trillion bucks and strewing cash from gold helicopters is the only solution.

I suspect (and hope even) that the checks will be for people who file tax returns, and sent to that address.

DrDeth 03-19-2020 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keeve (Post 22198651)
Many people seem to have forgotten that in the FOLLOWING year, there was a line on the 1040 for the purpose of repaying that loan. There was never any free money given out. The $300/$600 that we got in the first year was deducted in the second....

Not quite. IIRC it became taxable then next year, you didnt have to pay it all back, only maybe 28%.

Snowboarder Bo 03-19-2020 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 22198125)
Details are out: Democratic and Republican senators have tentatively agreed on a package to send "$2,000 to every American earning less than a million dollars per year."

I was hoping it would have been limited more, so that those who earn $300-999k are also disqualified, but it is what it is.

Note that this IS NOT a single $2000 check to every American.

It's $1000 now and maybe $1000 in another six weeks. That's $167/week.

:rolleyes:

Whoop-de-fucking-doo.

Velocity 03-19-2020 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 22198774)
Note that this IS NOT a single $2000 check to every American.

It's $1000 now and maybe $1000 in another six weeks. That's $167/week.

:rolleyes:

Whoop-de-fucking-doo.

......It's $2,000 more than we would have gotten otherwise.

Ann Hedonia 03-19-2020 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Voyager (Post 22197810)
You don't need a bank account or an income, assuming the government has your address.

Thatís a big assumption. Itís not like the government has a big master list of everyone in the USA, updated constantly.

I just filed my 2020 tax returns, which arenít due yet. My 2019 returns have an incorrect address. My bank, credit card companies and the postal service are in possession of my current address but I donít register an address with the government and I donít notify them if I move. Freedom and democracy.

I donít see, logistically, how the government will get the info to ďjust send a check to everyoneĒ. They have social security and disability info, tax returns - and maybe access to local tax rolls. But there would be lots of duplicates between those lists, and possibly lots of outdated addresses. Iím really curious to see how this will work.

divemaster 03-19-2020 01:30 PM

So now the eligibility threshold is $1million? A report I read earlier was that $65,000 was being considered. That's quite a difference.

Tamerlane 03-19-2020 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by divemaster (Post 22198905)
So now the eligibility threshold is $1million? A report I read earlier was that $65,000 was being considered. That's quite a difference.

A $1 million threshold is beyond ridiculous. I'm not really sold on this idea in the first place, but if it were going to be implemented it should target those under the most potential strain. Like $100k or less - $65k would be fine.

Giving a check for $2k to someone making $750k/year is the worst fucking kind of pandering.

Alley Dweller 03-19-2020 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 22198767)
Not quite. IIRC it became taxable then next year, you didnt have to pay it all back, only maybe 28%.

No it didn't become taxable. No you didn't have to pay ANY of it back.

But if you are sure this was the case, here are all the previous year tax forms and instructions. Please point out where it says you had to do this.

There was a first-time homebuyer credit in 2008 that had to be repaid. But the general rebate that almost everybody got did not.

RioRico 03-19-2020 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 22198760)
I suspect (and hope even) that the checks will be for people who file tax returns, and sent to that address.

Are people with incomes who file tax returns this year the only recipients? Where do they receive checks if they've been evicted and now live in a van or tent?

Are people with secure addresses those most in need of a couple of kilobucks? Are they likely to repeat the Dubya saga and use the money for savings or debt payment rather than economy-boosting consumption?

I don't expect satisfactory answers for an obvious, absurd bribe-the-voters ploy. The poorest and neediest, those most likely to consume, are left out. Fuck the proles and peasants. They hopefully won't have the strength to revolt, right?

Alley Dweller 03-19-2020 03:48 PM

I have no illusions this will happen, but they could set up a fund to deposit unclaimed and undeliverable checks. Use this fund to support food banks and homeless shelters.

But it will never happen.

Rick Kitchen 03-19-2020 03:53 PM

1-So the proposal that it be $1000 for adults plus $500 for every child isn't going to happen? I was wondering how they're going to know how many children are in a household.
2-Are these checks taxable?

Voyager 03-19-2020 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tamerlane (Post 22198928)
A $1 million threshold is beyond ridiculous. I'm not really sold on this idea in the first place, but if it were going to be implemented it should target those under the most potential strain. Like $100k or less - $65k would be fine.

Giving a check for $2k to someone making $750k/year is the worst fucking kind of pandering.

Maybe where you live. Where I live if you make $85K a year you qualify for housing assistance. Households in Santa Clara County have a median income of over $126K.
Not to mention that making $100K last year doesn't mean you have a job today.

You might think this is a lot of money. With rents and housing prices around here, it isn't.

Voyager 03-19-2020 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia (Post 22198836)
Thatís a big assumption. Itís not like the government has a big master list of everyone in the USA, updated constantly.

I just filed my 2020 tax returns, which arenít due yet. My 2019 returns have an incorrect address. My bank, credit card companies and the postal service are in possession of my current address but I donít register an address with the government and I donít notify them if I move. Freedom and democracy.

I donít see, logistically, how the government will get the info to ďjust send a check to everyoneĒ. They have social security and disability info, tax returns - and maybe access to local tax rolls. But there would be lots of duplicates between those lists, and possibly lots of outdated addresses. Iím really curious to see how this will work.

You underestimate how much the government knows about us. When I applied for Social Security the book I read said you need to bring your marriage license. When I did it, they knew all about it and I didn't need to document anything.

In any case, this is a fine example of the best being the enemy of the good. Even if 5% miss out (and I hope have an opportunity to appeal) 95% getting this payment will be good for the economy and good for them.
They made this work 20 years ago with relatively primitive data processing capabilities. It will work good enough now.

Alley Dweller 03-19-2020 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen (Post 22199162)
1-So the proposal that it be $1000 for adults plus $500 for every child isn't going to happen? I was wondering how they're going to know how many children are in a household.
2-Are these checks taxable?

We don't know anything until Congress actually passes a law and the IRS publishes procedures.

THIS IS PURELY A GUESS, but I bet it will be for every child for whom you claimed the child tax credit.

They have never been taxable before, but Congress can make them taxable if it wants.

HMS Irruncible 03-19-2020 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mnemnosyne (Post 22196300)
I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

I would not be surprised if Republicans outright adopted socialism and used it as a cudgel to bend blue states to their will. They'd claim they invented it, they'd call it "Capital Socialism" or hell, maybe drop the fig leaf and make it "National Socialism". Agree to abolish sanctuary cities, let ICE run rampant, and let the government abuse women and minorities, and poof! Universal healthcare for your state.

If anybody could/would pull that off, Trump would be the guy. The Republicans are in a historical moment where they have political license to repeat anything Trump says if it helps them stay in power.

Alley Dweller 03-19-2020 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible (Post 22199298)
I would not be surprised if Republicans outright adopted socialism and used it as a cudgel to bend blue states to their will. They'd claim they invented it, they'd call it "Capital Socialism" or hell, maybe drop the fig leaf and make it "National Socialism".

I really doubt they'd call it anything that had the word "socialism" in it. It would probably be "Working Families Tax Relief" or "Small Business Leadership Funds."

RioRico 03-19-2020 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alley Dweller (Post 22199308)
I really doubt they'd call it anything that had the word "socialism" in it. It would probably be "Working Families Tax Relief" or "Small Business Leadership Funds."

Such relief and funds will likely funnel into districts with (R) legislators, not areas full of "disloyals". "My" congresscritter sucks rosy Rosebuds so I'll be funded while coastal residents are left to smoke dog turds, as it were. Just to be safe, I'll start a small business selling Tulsi Gabbard campaign souvenirs. What, she dropped out? I'll go bankrupt! Send me more relief checks!


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