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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Odds High For A Fourth Stimulus Check: Here’s More On The Possible Amount, The Schedules, And Updates From The White House

The fourth round of stimulus checks could be on the agenda for Americans. There have been several proposals right from the top and various other levels.

Several measures follow the third stimulus check to help Americans cope with the economic downturn. There is the Child Tax Credit that will bring a generous amount of up to $3,600 per child between July and the tax season in 2022.

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The monthly unemployment check of $300 per month has also been extended through September 6, 2021. All these are expected to help Americans cope with the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic.

President Biden has made no mention of the fourth stimulus check in his first address to Congress. Jen Psaki, the Press Secretary at the White House was directly asked to comment on the fourth check. He said that they are waiting for proposals from Congress.

The Infrastructure Bill: An Investment In America

The job scenario continues to be grim, with only a slight recovery. But there hasn’t been any legislation for any further stimulus payment. One reason for the lack of specific guidelines could be that the administration is preoccupied at present with the infrastructure investment proposal. The American Jobs Plan is in itself worth around $2.2T.

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The infrastructure plan could bring about a sea change in all the core areas that will in the long run bring about growth in the economy.

But there has not been any mention of the 4the stimulus check leading up to the infrastructure plans. The infrastructure plans instead are about the indirect stimulus of the economy. That will ultimately bring an about-turn in the slide that it is going through at present. The proponents of the plan hope to first stem the slide and then recover plus rebuild the economy of the country.

The American Families Plan

stimulus check
stimulus check

The stimulus support I expected to continue from where it was stopped through the American Families Plan. This proposal will seek to target low-income parents and their children. The President has expressed the desire to continue with the child tax credit

The child tax credit is at present scheduled to end with the 2022 tax season. He has proposed extending it to the year 2025. Other proposals include an increase in the minimum wages from $7.25 per hour at present to $15 an hour. Subsidies have also been proposed for child care.

But there is always the possibility that the 4th round of stimulus check is included in the coming economic initiatives. Proponents of the bill say that there was much opposition to the first two stimulus checks in the initial phrases too.

How Big Could Be The Fourth Stimulus Payment?

Several factors could influence the figures in the fourth stimulus check. Though much of it could resemble the first three payments, it could deviate on several significant grounds.

The first and second stimulus checks were worth $1,200 and $600 respectively. The third payment is worth more than $1,400 for each individual, though there are many other attachments. The economic requirements to qualify are much narrower for the Economic Impact Payments.

The full amount in the third stimulus check is restricted to individuals’ earnings of $75,000 and below. It phases out completely for those earning above $80,000. The corresponding figures for families are $150,000 and $160,000.

The Fourth Stimulus Payment: Expected Timelines

As any further stimulus payment is still under consideration. Thus, it would be premature to comment on any specifics on the fourth stimulus payment.

But it is worth noting that even the third check was pushed through quite fast by President Biden. When the bill was signed by President Biden, the stimulus checks started going out almost immediately.

The basics are in place and all it needs is the consent of both the houses before another stimulus payment sees the light of day.

Would It Be Possible To Send A $2,000 Stimulus Check Every Month?

Senators led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have written to the President for a regular stimulus payment. The original proposal for the third stimulus check was for $2,000 to be sent out. The present Vice-President, Kamala Harris had also pushed for $2,000 during negotiations for the third round of stimulus payments.

At least 6 online petitions are also voicing the need for $2,000 per month till the economic slide is arrested. The petition has garnered around 2.3M signatures, with the biggest one on change.org alone garnering the support of 2.1M.

Could The Third Be The Last Check On The Front?

But there is also a feeling that the government might not go in for a direct stimulus payment, at least not on the lines of the first three stimulus checks. Many economists, like Brett Ryan, feel that we have left behind the worst phase of the pandemic and there won’t be any further stimulus payments.

The administration too is now concentrating on passing the American Infrastructure Plan. If successful. This $2 trillion plan alone is expected to stimulate a turnaround in the economy by creating jobs. The investments are being done in the long run and the returns are also expected to benefit the economy gradually.

Getting The Full Amount Of The Third Stimulus Check

stimulus check
Stimulus Check

More than 164 million payments have already been sent out and many of them are plus up payments. These payments are follow-up payments to the initial check sent to the recipients.

The authorities are concentrating on sending out all the pending stimulus payments before the Child Tax Credit payments start in July 2021.

So if you feel that you may have missed out on any payment, you should file your 2020 tax returns to update the information available with the IRS. There is still time before the December deadline for the IRS to send out the third stimulus payments.

You can even claim any missing amount as refunds during your tax returns filed in 2022.

Is A Fourth Stimulus Payment Necessary?

Many experts feel that there rests a definite need for a continuation of the ongoing stimulus support. The necessity for any more stimulus checks goes past the demands and refusal of politicians. The Economic Security Project, which advocates guaranteed income for citizens said that there was a necessity for at least a fourth payment.

The payment should be regular and automatic. It must not get stalled due to protracted negotiations in both the Houses.

8 million more people fell into poverty between the first and the second stimulus payment in 2020. The US Census Bureau has revealed that close to 30% of the citizens could not cover their basic domestic expenses in end-March. Another 15% of people have fallen back on rent payments.

Employers also could add a mere 266,000 jobs this April, revealed The New York Times. This is way below the million-plus expected. Unemployment figures also went up to 6.1%.

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