While the clamor for a fourth stimulus check shows no sign of abating, there continues to be a lack of clarity from the administration. The President and the Congress are preoccupied with details of the American Jobs Plan, President Biden’s ambitious plan to revamp the total infrastructure on a scale not seen since the interstate highways were built.
The President is also in talks for the American Families Plan but there has not been any further development on any further direct stimulus payment, at least in 2021.
Millions of Americans are still without a job or are being forced to work lesser hours. Debts are at an all-time high and many have been forced to give up jobs to care for their families.
The Effects Of The Initial Stimulus Checks
The stimulus check had directly infused cash into the hands of millions of Americans when they needed it the most. The economic downturn following the pandemic had meant that for the first time not just the poor, but even the middle-class American stared at the prospect of not having sufficient food on the table, a mountain of high-interest debts, and unpaid utilities and mortgage payment.
The introduction of the stimulus check had a significant effect. Financial instability and food shortages were down through the end of 2020 and right into the first and second quarters of 2021. The direct Economic Impact Payment and other supporting measures under the American Rescue Fund helped many Americans.
The Unemployment Benefits And The Child Tax Credit
The federal unemployment benefits of $300 per week were also extended through September 6, 2021. But many states have opted out of this support as they feel that this has held back many Americans from returning to work.
The enhanced child tax credit is also due to start on July 15, 2021. It will benefit close to 40 million households, or around 90% of children in the US. It could give you up to $3,600 per child over one year. 50% of the payments will go out in monthly checks over 6 months ending December 2021.
It is important to note that the child tax credit is not a stimulus check, but more like an advance against your 2021 returns. It will have an influence on your tax amount when you file your 2021 returns next year.
How Close Are We To A Fourth Stimulus Check
Several lawmakers and millions of Americans have got into the act. Influential Democratic lawmakers, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, had written to President Biden to add more stimulus checks in the next package. Another group of 21 Democratic lawmakers also wrote a few weeks later.
The House Ways and Means Committee also has come into the picture with 15% of their members calling for a fourth and even a fifth stimulus check. The content in their letter stated that the previous rounds of stimulus check had helped most Americans to buy provisions and spend on food, mortgage and rent, utilities, and[A1] other essential payments. They have asked President Biden to include regular stimulus checks in his American Families Plan.
Ordinary Americans have also got into the act. But then they are the most affected, especially the poor and the middle class. Close to 2.26 million Americans have signed an online petition on change.org, started by an American restaurateur. It has asked for a monthly stimulus check. It has demanded that stimulus checks need to be recurring and should be automatic if certain triggers are met and not dependent on legislation every time in an emergency. The petition urges that there should not be any more waiting time for the government to agree to a stimulus payment next time an emergency of this nature takes place.
Details Of The Next Stimulus Payment
The next in line of stimulus packages after the American Rescue Plan is the American Families Plan. There is a possibility that there will be a provision for a direct stimulus check included in the plan. The third stimulus checks have reached almost most households and most have admitted that they have almost used up the amount.
This scheme seems the most likely place the Congress could agree to a fourth or as demanded, even a fifth stimulus payment. But they have to agree on the total funding that would be allowed.
The President has been a strident supporter of increasing the duration of the CTC to 2025. Many other lawmakers, including Republican Senator Mitt Romney, have gone along with the proposal to support making permanent the credit tax rate. Most supporters of the proposal feel that the child tax credit will immensely help to bring millions of American families out of scarcity permanently.
The Call For An Increase In The Minimum Wage
The minimum wage rate has been abysmally low for quite some time now. In real terms, it has gone down. For since 1973. Productivity has grown around 75%, but the corresponding increase in workers’ compensation has increased by 12%. The hourly median wage has risen barely 10% in real terms. That comes to annual average growth of barely 4%.
The minimum wage remains far below or lesser than what it needs to be. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Romney have both supported a hike in minimum wages. It stands at $7.25 per hour. The demand is for raising it to $15 per hour, though some lawmakers are willing to settle for $11 per hour at least for now.
A study by the Brookings Institute has revealed that raising the minimum wages to $15 per hour could help 37% of households become self-sufficient.
The Chances Of An Extension Of The Unemployment Check
Some lawmakers have also petitioned for an extension of unemployment benefits beyond September 6, 2021. But the issue has now been sidetracked as several states have stopped the payments. Many feel that this will encourage people to apply for work.
An Initiative To Create Your Stimulus Check
Even as lawmakers and the administration study the possibility of further stimulus checks, it becomes imperative for ordinary Americans to make changes in lifestyle that could pave the way for more money in their hands.
The pandemic has the accompanying lockdown has led to a spurt in credit card loans. They are high-interest loans and could cut deep into your pocket. A debt consolidation loan at a much lower interest could save a lot every month.
The mortgage rates are also at an all-time low. It has dipped to as low as 3% for 30-year mortgage rates. If you go for refinancing at the current rates, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars each month.
Car insurance and homeowners insurance are also at an all-time low. Compare rates when your insurance comes up for renewal and you could be in for a bargain.