California fights inflation by sending free money to people

California’s political leaders’ latest plan to fight inflation is to flood the state with free money. Late Sunday night, Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced that he and state legislature leaders had agreed to a budget deal that would send “inflation relief” checks of up to $1,050. dollars to 23 million state residents.

“California’s budget addresses the state’s most urgent needs and prioritizes putting dollars back in the pockets of millions of Californians struggling with global inflation and rising prices for everything from gasoline at the grocery store,” said Newsom, Senate Speaker pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. (D–San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D–Lakewood) in a joint statement.

Each taxpayer earning less than $75,000, or co-filers earning less than $150,000, will receive a check for $350, plus an additional $350 if they have children, reports SCS. A married couple with children would be entitled to the maximum of $1,050. High-income earners would receive smaller refunds.

The checks are the most heralded part of a budget deal totaling some $300 billion. They’re helping to dispense with a $97 billion budget surplus, backed by surprisingly high tax returns from the highest-income Californians.

It should almost go without saying that handing out individual stimulus checks is more likely to exacerbate inflation than to cure it. The $1.9 trillion U.S. bailout package, passed in March 2021, which included $1,400 stimulus checks, is estimated by analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to have raised inflation by 3 percentage points.

The rising prices that the checks are intended to address also means that most of this stimulus money will be spent, which will increase demand and therefore prices. This is especially true given that low-income households, which are more likely to spend the extra dollars they receive, will receive the largest payments.

Meanwhile, these controls do nothing to address the loose monetary policies, supply chain issues, and limited global oil supply that are alternately singled out as the causes of our nearly 9 percent inflation rate. %.

One of the reasons the state sends people “inflation relief” checks is that it somehow has to. A provision of the California state constitution known as the Gann limit, caps the growth of per capita spending at particular levels and requires that government surpluses that exceed these limits be returned to taxpayers, spent on the education or redirected to exempt expenses such as infrastructure.

The budget agreement drawn up by the heads of state spends money on all of the above, with checks being the main title.

A possible libertarian defense of “inflation relief” checks is that while they are a terrible solution to inflation, they at least put money in the hands of individuals to spend. The alternative is that politicians will decide where the money goes, so it’s probably better to give people back the unfairly compensated income.

The problem with this line of thinking, however, is that California is overflowing with money due to higher-than-expected tax revenues from high-income earners. These high-income earners will receive little or no benefit from these inflation relief checks.

Instead, it is largely a redistribution program for low- and middle-income people. Although they receive the largest share of check profits, they will also be proportionally the most affected by any additional inflation caused by new spending.

One lesson politicians have learned from the pandemic is that free money is popular. They find it difficult to get rid of it, despite its obvious consequences.


FREE MOVEMENT

The discovery of a truckload of dead migrants in Texas is a horrifying reminder of the deadly toll of immigration restrictions. On Monday afternoon, officials in San Antonio, Texas, announced that 46 people were found dead in an 18-wheeler near Lackland Air Force Base. Sixteen others, including 12 adults and four children, were hospitalized with heat exhaustion.

The Texas Grandstand captured some of the horror:

According to a law enforcement official, it appears people were trying to jump out of the tractor-trailer because some of the deceased were found along several blocks. The tractor-trailer had a refrigeration system, the official said, but it did not appear to be working. Many people found inside the vehicle appeared to have been sprinkled with steak seasoning, the official said, possibly in a bid to conceal the smell of people as smugglers carried them away.

Authorities said the doors of the truck were partially open when they arrived; one body was outside the vehicle and the rest were visible inside. City Fire Chief Charles Hood said the survivors appeared to have no access to water and were too weak to climb out of the truck on their own.

“We’re not supposed to open a truck and see piles of bodies in there,” Hood said. “None of us come to work imagining this.”

Twelve adults and four children were taken to hospital. They were hot to the touch and suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but Hood said he was “very hopeful” they would survive.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, was quick to blame the deaths on President Joe Biden’s alleged open-border policies.

The governor did not explain why people would travel in the back of a deadly hot truck to the United States if the country did, in fact, have open borders.


FREE MARKETS

If you can’t beat them, drink them. A New Hampshire distiller is battling an invasive species of green crab by turning the little guys into whiskey.

Reports the Associated Press:

In search of a fresh flavor, Tamworth Distilling set its sights on the sea. Distiller Matt Power said the company heard about the problems caused by invasive green crabs from Gabriela Bradt of the University of New Hampshire Extension .

The crabs, which arrived on ships from Europe in the mid-1800s and landed on Cape Cod, have taken over the area. These saucer-sized crustaceans with a murky green color have decimated the region’s marine ecosystem, displacing native species for food and shelter.

The crabs are caught off the coast of New Hampshire, boiled in broth, mixed with alcohol and subjected to the distillation process. It takes about a pound of crabs to make a bottle of this whisky.


QUICK KEYS

  • The Great Stagnation is back. Federal regulators have ordered the recall of solar umbrellas (?) sold exclusively at Costco after 5 of them caught fire.
  • An Amtrak train derailed after colliding with a truck at a public crossing in Missouri, killing three and injuring 50. Federal Railroad Administration data shows there have been 40 crossing accidents so far this year, and 15 other collisions on the track.
  • A Russian strike on a Ukrainian shopping center killed at least 20 people and injured 59 others, according to Ukrainian officials. 40 other people are still missing.
  • A state judge struck down a New York City law that granted some 800,000 non-city citizens the right to vote in municipal elections, saying the state constitution limited the right to vote to citizens Americans and that a referendum would be needed to change that.
  • A ballot initiative enshrining the right to abortion in the California constitution will be presented to voters in 2024. These rights are already guaranteed by law. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom also signed an executive order restricting the sharing of patients’ medical information with authorities in states with stricter abortion laws.
  • Scottish officials are pushing for a second independence vote.
  • Federal agents seized the phone of John Eastman, the lawyer who orchestrated former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
  • Speaking of inventive spirits, a DC distillery has released a Ruth Bader Ginsburg-inspired, pastrami-flavored Dissent Gin. Proceeds from the sale of the gin (if any) will be used to support access to abortion, reports Washingtonian.

About Chris Stevenson

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