The proposals are an alternative to a payroll tax cut, which President Donald Trump has advocated for in recent weeks. Proponents say it is more effective because it gets the money into taxpayers hands more quickly and doesn’t require someone to be employed to get the benefit.

High-profile economists backing stimulus checks as a response include Gregory Mankiw, an economic adviser to President George W. Bush, and his Harvard colleague Jason Furman, who played the same role for the Obama administration.

Mankiw wrote in a blog post last week that many Americans don’t have any savings, and it’s hard to identify “the truly needy,” so blanket handouts make sense in the current crisis. “Sending every American a $1000 check asap would be a good start,” he wrote.

Furman made a similar proposal in a March 5 article in the Wall Street Journal, calling for payments of $1,000 per adult and $500 for each child. He said sending out checks is a better fix than payroll-tax cuts, which Furman said would be “too slow and dispersed.”

However, taxpayers may not see cash in their bank accounts immediately, said Mattie Duppler, a senior fellow at the National Taxpayers Union, said. Stimulus checks sent out in 2009 as a response to the financial crisis took more than two months to reach taxpayers -- President Barack Obama signed it into law in February and checks hit the mail in May.

”Seventy days is a long time right now,” Duppler said.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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