Stimulus checks started finding their way into the bank accounts of millions of Americans after the latest COVID-19 relief package received official approval from President Joe Biden earlier this month.
Not only can we expect to see a little extra cash in our bank accounts, but the bill also includes further assistance via an extension of supplemental unemployment benefits through early September. Adding to this, households earning less than $150,000 will be exempt from having to pay federal income taxes on their first $10,200 of unemployment benefits.
Children, too, will have a part to play in the latest iteration of the stimulus bill, due to an expansion of the child tax credit.
Currently, the child tax credit tops out at $2,000. However, thanks to the new bill, one can expect to receive up to $3,600 for children ages 5 and under. As for children ages 6 to 17, the tax credit is worth as much as $3,000.
Schools, state and local governments, and others will also be getting a helping hand. The bill aims to ease the burden on the communities these institutions serve.
According to CNET, money will also be put towards further combating the virus by directing funds towards supporting hospitals, acquisition of medical supplies, and aiding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its fight against COVID-19.
Not everyone should expect to receive a stimulus check, however. Receiving federal aid this time around is strictly a working-class affair.
Individuals who make more than $75,000 and couples who bring in a combined income more than $150,000 will see a decrease in the amount of aid they receive. No kind of financial relief will be directed towards a person whose income is equal to or exceeds $80,000. The same goes for married couples that rake in $160,000 or more.
With the current national debt well into the trillions, one may wonder where exactly all this money is coming from.
The Treasury Department issues bonds to the private and public sectors as well as to foreign entities. The bonds state that the government will, eventually, pay back any money borrowed to whoever the bond was issued to with interest. In theory, this will help to keep the economy running and allowing money earned to be saved up for later.
Some of the funds are coming directly from the Federal Reserve, which is also being paid in bonds. But, instead of shelling out actual cash, the Fed is giving the Treasury Department an electronic credit.
Critics of the bill worry this method of borrowing will cause inflation and lead the U.S. to go the way of Zimbabwe, where inflation is so out of control that trillion-dollar bank notes are everyday currency.
Following the passage of the previous stimulus package, Wall Street Journal Chief of Economics Commentator Greg Ip quelled these fears by saying, “It’s only a problem if they print and they print and they print. And those dollars get spent and spent and spent until all that spending exceeds the supply of goods and services in our economy,” adding, “That’s when you get high inflation.”
Students across the country have been hit especially hard by the economic turmoil resulting from the pandemic, and those at Salt Lake Community College are no exception.
“I know I really need it,” stated Haven Shelton, a physics major at SLCC.
Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, also declared that she could really use the help provided from the stimulus bill. However, they stipulated that only those who are in dire need of the money should be allowed to receive it, and that the rich should be left out of receiving such help.