“NO” on H.R. 9047, The “CASH” Act
Club for Growth opposes H.R. 9047, the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help Act, also known as the “CASH Act” and urges all Representatives and Senators to vote no on the legislation. The legislation is expected to be considered in the House under a suspension of the rules, and could also be considered soon in the Senate. The result of the vote will be included in the Club for Growth Foundation’s 2020 Congressional Scorecard.
This legislation amends the 2020 Christmas Wish-List COVID Relief and Omnibus appropriations bill in order to increase the dollar amount of direct payments to some Americans. This bill would amend the direct payments from the 2020 COVID Relief/Omnibus from $600 per adult and $600 for each dependent to $2,000 for each adult and dependent, immensely increasing the cost of the direct payment provision. The authors of the legislation also purposefully ignore all deficit impacts of this legislation by including a waiver of statutory PAYGO requirements and refusing to cut other spending and handouts to the bureaucracy, special interests, and foreign countries. Although analysis on the budgetary impacts of this legislation is not available from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) based on previous cost-estimates on direct payments to roughly the same number of Americans, this legislation would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit.
This bill continues to adhere to the Left’s socialist vision of class warfare because the direct payment is not available to all Americans. This legislation would continue the phase out to provisions for individuals from $75,000 to $100,000 – meaning if you are an individual with an income above $100,000 you would receive zero dollars in the direct payment. For joint tax filers, the direct payment phases out from $150,000 to $200,000. Moreover, you do not need to be a federal taxpayer in order to receive the direct payment. Therefore, these direct payments are essentially welfare payments to most Americans, many of which may not have suffered financially during the COVID pandemic. While some proponents of the bill argue that the direct payment goes to Americans that are in need, there is no standard within the legislation to determine whether recipients are actually in a need-based category. Even worse, many Congressional proponents of this legislation have announced their intention to increase federal taxes on the American people in 2021 by repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
Generally, returning more taxpayer dollars to the American people is as a good thing, but this bill does not accomplish the endeavor of decreasing taxation on the American people. Instead, this bill increases federal spending in the form of rebates and cash payments. And while this legislation could have inflationary impact on the dollar, such analysis is not available to the public or the Members of Congress voting on the bill. As with all spending increases, this bill increases the future tax burden of the American people by adding to the unsustainable levels of debt that has been incurred by irresponsible federal lawmakers in recent years. Too often, politicians look to provide government handouts in order to gain favor with constituents. This bill is no exception. But as Milton Friedman would say, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” The supply of money is limited and when government prints money, it decreases the value of currency and further stifles the ability of low and middle-income Americans to accumulate wealth and prosperity due to inflation.
While some Members of Congress argue that government has “taken” from the American people through lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, these directives have been issued at the state and local levels of government. The best way to improve prosperity and wealth in America is to safely reopen as much of the U.S. economy as fast as possible and enact economic policies that increase productivity, boost wages, and add new jobs to the economy.
Club for Growth Foundation’s Congressional Scorecard for the 116th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to the public.