The federal government has been in the business sending people checks for decades. We all know how that's worked out. The notion of the federal government sending people money for nothing is a bad one, no matter you slice it.
The federal government should get out of the business of giving people money, period. (This implies, for instance, that the Fair Tax is a dead letter, because without "prebate" checks it can't work.) Rather than having the government give people money, perhaps we might consider a radical alternative: Have the federal government *TAKE LESS*.
The federal government charges us all with oodles of "fees" (look at your phone bill or a plane ticket) and imposes employment taxes (e.g. FICA) that hit the first dollar earned, and every following dollar for a majority of Americans. The feds then turn around and "give" some of this money back in the form of the EITC and other subsidies (e.g. Obamacare). This is a moral travesty.
Why not just get rid of regressive fees and employment taxes? Why not simply exempt the first X dollars of *everybody's* income from federal taxes, up to some multiplier of the poverty level? It would be easy to do. Simply modify existing income tax brackets to include a broad first bracket with a tax rate of 0%, i.e. an income tax holiday for all. The same thing could be done with a modified Flat Tax.
Fixing our pathetic tax law and pitiable welfare state isn't rocket science. All we lack is the will; the way is obvious.