Here Are 53 Million Reasons Why Stimulus Benefits Work
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked economic havoc across the United States, but despite lockdowns and record unemployment rates, most Americans have avoided dire financial consequences. And that was largely thanks to the help provided by the coronavirus relief legislation.
In fact, recent Census Bureau data shows 53 million reasons why stimulus checks and other government benefits have paid off.
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Stimulus checks have had a huge impact on Americans’ finances
According to a recent Census Bureau report, government assistance in 2020 saved 53 million families out of poverty. This is a dramatic increase from the 35 million people kept out of poverty in 2019. The millions of people left out of poverty prove that the actions taken by lawmakers have worked.
If lawmakers hadn’t passed legislation providing for benefits – including depositing stimulus checks into people’s bank accounts – there would have been a significant increase in poverty rates last year. Census data shows there was a 2.8 percentage point increase in the number of people living in poverty, leaving millions more struggling with income too low to support themselves. fundamentals.
Instead, thanks to the help offered by lawmakers, there was a 2.6 percentage point drop in the number of people living in poverty after government aid was factored in. It may not seem like much, but it means that 8.5 million fewer people have had insufficient annual family income to cover most of the essentials.
Stimulus checks, unemployment benefits and improved nutrition assistance have all worked together to help keep millions of people above the poverty line. Specifically, the direct payments provided by stimulus checks alone were responsible for keeping nearly 12 million people above the poverty line last year. An additional 5.5 million people were kept above the poverty line due to increased unemployment benefits, while 3.2 million people received monthly nutritional assistance that kept their income low. above the poverty line.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities made it clear that “poverty would have been a lot worse without the unprecedented aid,” but sadly, CBPP also pointed out that many of these sources of aid have now ended.
While a $ 1,400 stimulus check was cleared in March 2021, American families have only received one direct payment this year and another is unlikely. Extended unemployment benefits also ended recently, leaving many people without this extra income – even though they may not yet have been able to return to the labor market.
Without continued financial assistance from Washington, it is possible that more people could face dire financial consequences from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year, particularly if additional lockdowns become necessary due to the Delta variant. . Washington lawmakers may need to consider taking steps to provide more direct relief if Americans continue to struggle to find work or stay afloat in these turbulent times.
As census data shows, stimulus money can help and help – and with millions calling for a fourth stimulus check, another direct payment shouldn’t be ruled out.