Trump seeks massive direct payments to Americans totalling USD 500 bn

US President Donald Trump is seeking an unprecedented massive direct transfer of money to his countrymen to help them cope with the devastating impact that the deadly coronavirus is expected to have on the American economy.
Trump seeks massive direct payments to Americans totalling USD 500 bn


The total volume of this direct transfer of money, likely to be in two instalments, is estimated at whooping USD 500 billion, which is one sixth of the Indian economy. If equally divided among the estimated 330 million American population, it comes to over USD 1500 (over Rs 1 lakh) per US citizen.
Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Wednesday that no final decision has been taken yet, but multiple media reports said his administration has sent a proposal in this regard to the Congress.
As per the proposal, the direct cash transfer scheme to Americans is to be in two installments of USD 250 billion each -- one in early April and the other one in mid-May.
While there has been precedence to such a direct cash transfer scheme to Americans during the time of a severe economic crisis, which were around USD 300 and USD 500, the one proposed by the White House is massive in scale and has no parallel in the world in terms of volume.
The Department of Treasury in a memo, The Wall Street Journal reported, has proposed two rounds of direct payments to Americans totalling USD 500 billion to respond to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, with the amount of each check based on family size and income.
Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told CNBC in an interview that the IRS has the ability to deliver payments to many people via direct deposit and is working with electronic payment providers on other ways to deliver the payments electronically, the daily reported.
"That is money that we can get to hardworking Americans right away," the newspaper quoted Mnuchin as saying.
Without giving any number to the direct cash transfer payment plan, Trump told reporters that "a lot of very big numbers and a lot of very small numbers are being talked about".
"We want to take care -- we have to help everybody. It was nobody's fault this happened. I mean, some people could say it was somebody's fault, actually. But it was nobody's fault and certainly none of these companies that all of a sudden had no passengers in planes and had no passengers on cruise ships and all of the things that have happened," he said.
The direct cash transfer plan is seen as part of Trump's proposal to help various sections of the American economy which are likely to have a devastating impact due to the coronavirus. Prominent among them being USD 300 billion for small business loan guarantees and USD 50 billion for the airlines industry.
"I will say that they can't be blamed for this. And we want to keep those companies vibrant because it's -- there's going to be a comeback very, very quickly, as soon as this is solved. And it will be solved. We will win and there will be a comeback. And it'll take place very quickly," Trump said.
"I view it as in a sense a wartime President. I mean that is what we are fighting. I mean it's a very tough situation here. Have to do things, you have closed part of an economy that six weeks ago was the best that have ever been," he said.

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