One of the causes of rampant inflation we faced over the past two years was COVID-19 relief checks. California, which has generally higher prices and inflation than the rest of the country, is ready for more.
Everything is more expensive in California. According to the 2020 cost of living index, the average city is 38% more expensive than elsewhere in the United States. Cities actually range from 5% to 95% higher than the rest of the country. Mendocino, California, had the most expensive gas in the United States at $9.60 per gallon. But this isn’t enough for California.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced that many Californians will quality to receive inflation relief checks in the coming weeks. In May, Newsom made this statement about the checks:
“We enacted the most comprehensive economic stimulus program in the nation last year, getting billions in immediate relief to millions of Californians. But many folks are still struggling, especially with high costs due to inflation, so we’re leveraging this historic surplus to get money back into the pockets of Californians. This inflation relief package will help offset the higher costs that Californians are facing right now and provide support to those still recovering from the pandemic.”
The timeframe is fast approaching for Californians to get their hands on these checks. We’ll see how the economy responds.
Couples earning more than $500,000 per year and singles earning $250,000 per year are not eligible. Couples with a dependent who make less than $150,000 per year joint earnings will qualify for 1,050. Couples who make $250,000 to $500,000 a year qualify for a $400 check.
From the Daily Wire:
Inflationary pressures have weighed upon the broader American economy for the past two years. Price levels between August 2021 and August 2022 rose 8.3%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marking a slight moderation from an 8.5% year-over-year increase in July and a 9.1% year-over-year increase in June.
Earlier this year, California provided residents with stimulus checks of $400 per registered car for up to two vehicles, as well as free public transit for three months, in order to mitigate soaring gasoline prices. After surpassing a nationwide average of $5.00 per gallon in early June, gas prices have somewhat subsided to $3.70 per gallon as of Friday, according to data from AAA, while prices in California still remain at an average of $5.58 per gallon.
The Golden State’s budget reached a sum of $308 billion this year, according to a press release from Newsom’s office, which includes a surplus of $97 billion. However, the state’s top marginal income tax rate is 13.3% and the state’s sales tax rate is 7.25%, both of which are the highest in the nation, according to an analysis from the Heritage Foundation.
Meanwhile, California has witnessed a mass exodus in response to government lockdowns and rising prices. Between March 2020 and December 2020, roughly 267,000 people moved out of California while 128,000 entered the state. The trend is particularly salient in San Francisco, where real estate prices and crime rates are especially high. Between 2019 and 2020, more than six times as many residents left the city than entered.
Californians are already having immense trouble simply affording daily necessities. According to the Daily Wire, half of millennials can’t even afford a 1 bedroom apartment in California’s biggest cities. This move is only going to drive up costs and make life harder for the average Californian.