As vaccines rise and the economy picks up again, many individuals and families may be excited for this side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic to continue: government stimulus controls.
A recent survey by Data for Progress found that 65% of Americans are in favor of paying $ 2,000 a month for the duration of the pandemic.
Some political leaders agree.
On Tuesday, a group of Democratic Senators led by Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore, sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for additional stimulus controls.
“We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance renewals, which are tied to economic conditions, in your long-term” Build Back Better “economic plan,” write the leaders.
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When tied together, the direct payments can help those who are not eligible for unemployment insurance and have suffered a loss of income, leaders said. The money would also help keep families out of poverty while stimulating the economy.
Americans would welcome the relief, the letter said, citing the Data for Progress survey. It was also suggested that more than 150 economists have called for “automatic triggers” for stimulus controls to stabilize the economy.
The U.S. government has made three direct payments to Americans since the Covid-19 pandemic began. This included up to $ 1,200 per person under the CARES bill approved by Congress a year ago, followed by payments of $ 600 per person approved in December. Now the government is in the process of sending out payments of $ 1,400.
Will there be a fourth stimulus check?
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Even when those $ 1,400 worth of stimulus checks landed, there was talk of whether or not there might be a fourth round of direct payments.
If more checks were approved, the income criteria to qualify for them would likely be stricter than the first three rounds, which, according to RA Farrokhnia, professor at Columbia Business School, also went to people who didn’t needed.
“‘One check fits everyone’ may not be the best approach,” Farrokhnia said.
There are three things to keep in mind that can be used to determine whether or not further direct payments will be made: According to Pete Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research.
This includes how the yields on government bonds that help fund the payments and interest rates move. public perception of Biden’s politics; and the 2022 mid-term elections.
On Capitol Hill, other aid is likely to be a priority, according to Ed Mills, Washington political analyst with Raymond James.
“I think it’s unlikely right now,” said Mills.
Biden promised Monday that 90% of adults can be vaccinated by April 19, paving the way for the U.S. economy to reopen completely.
“DC has largely started to focus on recovery and an infrastructure bill,” said Mills.
Still other forms of coronavirus aid may continue for some families.
This includes a new child tax credit that includes monthly payments of up to $ 300 per child aged 6 and under, or $ 250 per child for children aged 6 to 17.
If this piece of social infrastructure is implemented, we will see the greatest social program changes in this country in 50 years.
Washington Political Analyst with Raymond James
While these monthly payments are expected to begin in July, the IRS recently said it may need to postpone that start date.
Once payments begin, monthly budgets for a family of four could increase by $ 500 to $ 600, Mills said.
The extended child tax credit, which totals $ 3,600 per child under 6 and $ 3,000 per child 6-17 for married couples earning less than $ 150,000, is currently only valid for one year.
“The fight is really to see if that will be extended beyond this year,” said Mills.
More unemployment insurance help could also be on the agenda this year, he said. Currently, the federal additional unemployment benefit of $ 300 per week continues through September 6th.
The expansion of the social safety net is already under way
Signs calling for more relief, a second paycheck protection program, and more as part of a Goldman Sachs campaign to support small businesses near the U.S. Capitol on January 5, 2021.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI | AFP | Getty Images
Experts say the money spent on individuals and families during Covid-19 represents a new experiment with government aid, even without further stimulus checks.
“There is a view out there that these ongoing payments, especially to the extent that the whispering of ongoing payments is now being whispered, is some kind of stealth implementation of UBI, or Universal Basic Income,” Earle said.
Since some people lost jobs or businesses overnight, Earle says they are more aware of the potential need for a guaranteed government income. Some politicians also agree.
The concept stems from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policy in the 1930s that included rights to housing, work and income, although UBI was not specifically included, Earle said.
Social security in particular was one of the programs set up under the New Deal.
A second major expansion of the social safety net came in the 1960s with the creation of Medicare, and Mills said a third wave of change could be underway.
Its origins began when President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. Now the child tax credit and the federal tools used to assist Americans in economic emergencies could be expanded more permanently.
“If this piece of social infrastructure is implemented, we will see the greatest socio-programmatic changes in this country in 50 years,” said Mill.