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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Fourth Stimulus Check: The Possibility Remains Popular

A fourth stimulus check remains a possibility and a topic of immense popularity as the third round of payments for economic relief has almost come to an end. Nearly 161 million checks have been issued each worth a maximum of $1400. It has been ongoing since mid-March when the package for the third stimulus was signed. EIP cards and paper checks continue to arrive in mailboxes.

Moreover, there are the plus-up amounts. These amounts are aimed to make up any due amounts for individuals. These checks have also been on the way for several weeks now. Combined, the value of the two stands at almost the entire $422B that President Biden had allocated in his Act named the American Rescue Plan worth $1.9T.

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The economic relief stimulus is aimed to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on households. The economy should also be supported while the recovery ensues. Unemployment benefits are also extended by the stimulus checks along with an enhanced child tax credit among more. The latest round follows the payments under the CARES Act worth $1200 and the second round in January worth $600.

The State Of The Recovery Of The Economy

In this year’s first quarter, the economy of the United States saw an annual rate of growth of 6.4%. This is faster than 2020’s last quarter rate of 4.3%. The annual growth rate has a possibility of reaching 10% and more for the upcoming quarter. As such, the GDP of the county has almost recovered to the pre-pandemic level. Experts estimate that by summer, it will have a complete recovery.

Huge workforce segments have not been impacted greatly economically by the pandemic. Moreover, most jobs that were done at desks were just as efficiently discharged from the home. Moreover, many Americans have managed to save up a lot more with the combination of the three rounds of stimulus checks and the fewer chances to spend. As such, the rate for personal savings increased and stands at 33.7% previous April. In 2021 February, it was 13.7%. The rate is nearly double that of the pre-pandemic value. Households managed to save up an enormous $4.1T which is almost triple the pre-pandemic value.

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The market for housing has increased as well, partly due to people realizing their housing limitations after spending most of their time there. The Realtors’ National Association reported a value of $329,100 median price when it came to sales for March. This is an increase of 17.2% from 2020 March. It was an even rise across the country. Subsequently, the inventory of housing also increased a bit. The value is still 28.2% less than last year’s February.

Stocks are also booming. On Thursday, Dow Jones reached a record territory of 34,055. Individual investors made full use of the stimulus checks to pump the market.

However, a large number of households are yet to regain their financial situation that was there before the pandemic. Almost 15% of renters have failed to pay their rent on time. Many are also facing mortgage payment struggles. As of March’s second half, almost 33% of adult citizens reported that expenses have become difficult to keep up with. This includes all the pandemic-time debts incurred.

Stimulus Check

Employment has not recovered either. About 553,000 applications had been filed for jobless claims during April’s third week. However, the moving average over four weeks is currently the least since the pandemic started. Many are yet to receive the different jobless benefits as well, because of the waiting time or apparent ineligibility. Hiring is only gradually getting better as well in the industries that were hit the hardest.

As such, the third round of stimulus checks has been a big help for these Americans to at least have enough money to live their lives. However, they are nothing more than a temporary measure as the fixed amount will be exhausted sooner or later. As such, the push for a fourth stimulus check has been picked up by several politicians, even though that might not be enough either.

The Support For The Fourth Stimulus Check

A collection of Senators of the Democratic Party are the biggest supporters of the fourth stimulus check. This includes Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, and Oregon’s Ron Wyden. Jointly they have submitted a request to President Biden which includes recurring payments and extension of automatic insurance for unemployment.

The Senators reasoned that the crisis is nowhere near the end. As such the American government is bound to give the families some certainty that they will at least have the finances for shelter and food. Furthermore, families do not deserve to be on the beck and call of uncertain legislative timelines and stop-gap measures.

A previous letter was also written by Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar along with 52 other representatives. Other co-signers for a potential fourth stimulus check include Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and AOC of New York from the Progressive side. No amount had been specified then but a later tweet put the amount at around $2,000 for each month for as long as the pandemic lasts.

Most Americans also prefer a recurring relief package over a fourth stimulus check. Almost 67% of adults support the monthly payment plan. It includes supporters from both Republicans as well as Independents. Experts such as economists also prefer the monthly plan over the fourth stimulus check.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

Biden’s administration, however, is yet to say anything on a fourth stimulus check. In the President’s recent speech for Congress, there was no mention of a fourth stimulus check either. The recent American Families Plan does not include a fourth stimulus check as well.

The Unlikely Scenario Of A Fourth Stimulus Check

All these voices of support keep the hopes alive for a fourth stimulus check, a recurring one that is. However, it does not make it any more likely.

As for reasons, vaccination has progressed at a steady pace. Everyone older than 16 can get themselves vaccinated throughout the entirety of the country. 43.3% of the total population have received at least one dose with 30% having complete vaccination. More than 2 million doses of vaccines are being registered every day.

As such, the economy is gradually recovering as well. For the third stimulus check, the Democrats had made use of the reconciliation process to get it passed even without the support of the Republicans. For one fiscal year, this can be used only once.

Moreover, Biden’s administration has much more pressing priorities. The recent infrastructure plan remains one of the largest aims worth more than $2T.

In conclusion, a fourth stimulus check is highly unlikely. However, there are several other modes of financial aid that are expected to come. These direct payments include an extension to jobless benefits as well as an enhanced Tax Credit for Children.

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