After 17 months of coronavirus pandemic, and as the U.S. economy attempts to get going amid rising cases with the Delta variant surging, some are asking why the federal government hasn’t stepped in to accelerate the process.
Unemployment still exceeds pre-pandemic levels, and many are asking themselves when the recovery that’s been on the news over the last two months will hit their household.
This dilemma is becoming increasingly apparent in states where vaccination rates remain low- and cases of COVID-19 continue to rise- prompting new concerns about hospital capacity.
Last week the second round of payments from the Child Tax Credit advance went out- albeit with some challenges. Turns out, payments that were initially going to be made via direct deposit, will actually come through the mail.
Aside from that though, there has been continued talks about a fourth round of stimulus payments. There have been calls for ‘continued’ payments until the end of the pandemic, but it appears unlikely that that will come to fruition.
Some have even called for stimulus payments to be ‘automatic’ if certain criteria are reached in the economy. In other words, they would hit people’s bank accounts if unemployment hits a certain threshold, or if, for example, a pandemic shuts down an entire global economy.
At least one more payment though could make a big difference. The Urban Institute estimated that another stimulus payment could reduce poverty by at least 6.4 percent in 2021.
California has signed a new budget, which includes stimulus checks for more than 60% of its residents. Those who make between $30,000 and $75,000 will receive payments of $600 to help stimulate the economy heading through the winter months.
As for the rest of Americans, there’s no clear indication that a stimulus payment is coming soon. In fact, many expect that the next possible stimulus could come in 2022 if conditions have not significantly improved by then.
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