$250 Stimulus Check For 2010 – Is It Enough?

by Mike Holman

President Obama has proposed another $250 stimulus check for all recipients of Social Security as well as a $250 check for people on SSI.  This stimulus check was given out in 2009 and he has suggested that since SS and SSI payments are not increasing in 2010 because of low inflation, this check will help people pay their bills.

Is a $250 stimulus check enough?

The problem is that $250 doesn’t go as far as it used to!  Obviously everyone can use more money but the question to be answered is – is a $250 stimulus check enough to help people?  Given the costs of administrating this program and sending checks out – another good question is whether the program is worthwhile doing at all for a relatively small amount of money.

Here are some possible options for the government to consider:

Increase the amount of the stimulus check

Making the stimulus check larger to $500 would make it a lot more worthwhile considering the admin costs.  More money would be available to help stimulute the economy.  The downside of a larger check is of course the extra costs.  Giving out twice as much money will increase the government deficit and debt levels and clearly that is not a good thing.

Lower the amount of the stimulus check

Another option is to lower the check to a level around $100.  This would save the government and taxpayers money but doesn’t make a lot of sense since now the amount is way too low and it would be very pointless to handle giving out checks for only $100.

Don’t do any stimulus check in 2010

This last option is unfortunately a definite possibility since the bill hasn’t passed the house yet which means it could still die.  Not giving out a stimulus check would be the best thing for the government since it wouldn’t cost anything but what about the people on SS and SSI who need the money?  They would probably not like this option.

Keep it at $250

If there is any stimulus check then this is by far and away the most likely option.  The amount isn’t great but on the other hand, the cost is somewhat affordable to the government.  Plus, this is the same amount that was given last year so it makes sense in that context.

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