What’s Behind the Push For a Fourth Stimulus Check

The government has given more than 169 million payments to people in the past three rounds of aid. More than 2 million people in July got $1,400 checks. Some lawmakers want to give out more money until the pandemic is over.

So far, the federal government has given $3,200 to people who are eligible for it. The first 1,200 were paid out under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020. Another 600 was given in December. And the final 1,400 was issued under the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in March.

In the past week, almost one-quarter of Americans had a hard time paying their expenses. In response to this financial distress, the government offers people money that they will hopefully use to pay their bills.

The unemployment rate is 5.2%. It was at 3.5% before the pandemic. There are still 5.3 million people who are not working now because of the pandemic, but companies are hiring again. Economists are worried that the Delta variant will spread and slow down future economic growth to 5.9% by 2021 instead of 6%.

The director of global macro research for Oxford Economics wrote, “Uncertainty and hesitancy may ultimately lead to a more slow-burning recovery from here than our baseline assumes.”

Nine million people lost their benefits when the federal ones expired on Labor Day. Nine million people’s money will be taken away from them for food, rent, and other things.

Many people do not have enough money because their $1,400 payment has already been spent. This is a big problem for many Americans out of work and struggling with the labor market. 

Some lawmakers have picked up the idea of recurring payments. Twenty-one senators, all Democrats, wrote a letter to Mr. Biden about this idea on March 30th. They said that the IRS’s distributes of the $1,400 payment would not be enough for people to live on for long.

The letter from the U.S. senators does not say how much money they want, but there was a plan to give people with pandemic $2,000 monthly checks in January. Instead, the American Rescue Plan gave $1,400 for each dependent and is eligible for help.

Child Tax Credit: July 15th deposits

Some families got money back on July 15th when the IRS put some money into their bank account. They had to qualify for the Child Tax Credit. The average amount for each family was $423.

Some families will get up to $1,800 in cash from the government. It will come in equal installments over six months from July through December. This is because of the CTC, which is a part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Some families will get money. They will get $300 for each child under six and $250 for children between six and seventeen years old. Some families said they would use the money to pay for child care, supplies for school, and other things.

Mr. Biden wants families to get a more extensive tax break for kids until 2026. Under the American Families Plan, this credit will be $4,000 per year instead of $2,000.

Emergency funds, saving

People who have received the $1,000 stimulus payment so far said they used the money to pay off debt and save up for emergencies. This can be because of debt from before the pandemic and because people want to be prepared if something terrible happens again.

About 1 in 3 people said that they could get help for less than one month. That’s because the stimulus aid would help them.

Millions of Americans were saved from going through hardship because of the three rounds of stimulus payments. But when the government did not give another round of money, like last fall when Congress couldn’t decide on more money, people had a more challenging time, and there were more hardships in November and December.

Still living paycheck to paycheck.

Nasif said that the economy is getting better, but many people do not have as much money as they used to. Some people can’t use government aid programs because they don’t have enough money. But only 4 out of 10 jobless workers received unemployment help.

Many people did not apply for unemployment benefits because they thought they were not eligible. Others gave up because it took too long or there were problems with the application.

Greg Nasif, the political director of Humanity Forward, says that some Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and they cannot get help from the government. This is because, for them, the economy has not grown.

How likely is a fourth stimulus check?

Wall Street analysts say it is unlikely. One reason is that the government has a plan to help rebuild schools, roads, and airports. They will also invest in different projects like affordable housing and broadband.

A proposal that will make corporations pay more taxes is coming. This will take up a lot of the lawmakers’ time and energy this fall or in autumn. The White House says that this will happen because the tax rate for corporations would go from 21% to 28%.

Congress is trying to finish two significant bills about infrastructure. One has tax hikes, and the other one has spending bills. They also have to raise the debt ceiling.

Delta headwinds?

COVID-19 is a virus that can spread through the nation. Some people with low vaccination rates are getting the virus, and it could stop people from taking jobs where they might contact other people.

In Texas, a lot of people have lost their jobs. That is because there are too many people with COVID-19. People who have it can’t work, and workers worry that they will get it, so they stay home or don’t go to work for their family members with COVID-19.

Federal pandemic unemployment benefits have expired. This means that people without jobs will not be able to get money to live with. This isn’t good for many families.

This cliff will hurt the economy because it takes away money that people can use to buy things. It also puts people at risk for not having enough work because there are not enough jobs.

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