Why some are calling for a fourth payment
Signs calling for more help, a second Paycheck Protection Program and more as part of a Goldman Sachs campaign to support small businesses near the US Capitol on January 5, 2021.
BRENDA SMIALOWSKI | AFP | Getty Images
Other data suggests that Americans are using the money to improve their balance sheets.
a new Bankrate.com Survey found that people usually plan to use the $1,400 checks to pay off monthly expenses, daily necessities, debt, and savings.
Many respondents to that survey said the money would take less than three months, if that was that long.
“We need at least one more check,” said Adam Ruben, campaign manager for the Economic Security Project.
According to the new report from the Economic Security Project, three rounds of stimulus checks over the past year — payments of up to $1,200, $600 and $1,400 per person — have helped boost incomes by 20% for the lowest-income households.
In addition, this year’s $1,400 checks will help lift 11 million people out of poverty, the study said. By comparison, the new expanded unemployment benefits will help lift less than 4 million people out of poverty.
“Evidence from the past year shows that stimulus measures are the fastest and most impactful investments helping Americans get through this crisis and lift more people out of poverty than any other single policy,” the report states.
Additional direct payments would also help minority groups and households, which have been hit harder financially by the pandemic, according to the study.
While the overall unemployment rate is now 6%, the rate for blacks is highest at 9.6%.
In addition, the survey found that in the week of March 17 to 29, two-thirds of Black and Hispanic households had difficulty paying their household expenses, compared to less than half of White households.
To that end, the Economic Security Project is calling for additional direct payments to those who need it most. The group is also calling for improvements to the system to ensure those payments automatically reach eligible people.
The idea of additional direct controls was recently supported by 21 senators who: sent a letter to President Joe Biden.
The gap between the approval of the first $1200 check and the second $600 check shows what can happen if people’s financial needs aren’t met, Ruben says.
In that time, up to 8 million people have fallen into poverty.
“Let’s not do that again. Let’s make these checks automatic,” Ruben said. “Let’s link them to economic conditions so that people are not at the mercy of the Washington stalemate.”
So far, experts have said the prospect of a fourth stimulus check is tentative at best.
“DC has largely started to turn toward recovery and an infrastructure bill,” said Raymond James Washington policy analyst Ed Mills said recently.
However, additional cash payments are planned to go to the parents from July with the introduction of the increased child discount
The Economic Security Project also calls for the extension of that credit, as well as income tax earned, to be made permanent.