California Democrat Senator Kamala Harris has proposed a tax plan where people making under $100,000 could choose if they want to receive payments from the government monthly or annually. In some cases, up to $500 a month.
"American families making less than $100,000 a year could be eligible for a monthly tax credit of up to $500, or $6,000 a year... Individuals making less than $50,000 would be eligible for up to $250 a month, $3,000 a year."
According to Harris’ office, recipients could receive the money in either monthly payments or annually.
While it's goals may definitely seem appealing on paper as a remedy for economic strife, the bill's economic practicality is highly questionable.
“The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates the (bill) would impact one in every two workers and two out of every three children in America,” according to Harris’ office, in addition to approximately 1 million Pell Grant-eligible college students.
In a public statement, Harris noted that “Americans are working harder than ever but stagnant wages mean they can’t keep up with cost of living increases.” Her office specifically alluded to a 2017 survey claiming that more than half of all Americans cannot afford an unexpected $500 expense.
The bill's ideas actually becoming a political reality is an extreme long shot due to the low probability of Democrats gaining a majority in the US Senate, but some speculate this was by design. More an act of pandering rather than an earnest effort to push policy.
Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College postulated that “There’s no real chance that this will become law in the next couple of years," but even so, elaborates on why this idea was floated publicly, “It appeals to the Democratic base, it appeals to low-income voters, it’s a very clever tactic to turn the tax issue against the Republicans.”