$600 stimulus checks are coming, but it’s still not enough
Nine months into this pandemic, the U.S. government has finally decided to give us more money in the form of a stimulus check but don’t get too excited because it’s only $600 per person. So, $1200 from the first round in April plus $600 equals = the U.S. gave people $1800 to last nine months (aka $200 a month) during a deadly, global pandemic resulting in millions unemployed. Not cool.
Naturally, people are pretty pissed off at the low sum and some outlets even had the audacity to give “tips” on “how to spend your stimulus checks” as if the government gave us such a lavish amount of money that Americans don’t know how to invest it correctly.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that the money should arrive in people’s bank accounts as early as next week, though he said that “people [will] go out and spend this money, and that helps small business and that helps getting more people back to work,” which is laughable that experts think $600 per person is going to “stimulate” the economy when people will literally just be paying their rent and mortgage with this.
Also, not everyone will get the full $600. Per CBS News, single people earning up to $75,000 will receive $600, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $1,200. That $600 check will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income earned above those thresholds, according to the House Appropriations Committee. Oh and that $75,000 a year cap is based on your 2019 income, you know, before the pandemic hit and you lost your job.
Not surprisingly, the $600 stimulus checks spawned a number of memes about what people can expect to spend their money on.
— Kratos Knows Best (@ColoradoKratos) December 22, 2020
— Josh 🍥 (@ripthevey) December 22, 2020
— Yesac Yaf (@SuspiciouslyFay) December 22, 2020
— NOT GOOD AT WARZONE (@TheRealHeavyZee) December 22, 2020
All jokes aside, $1800 total in nine months is a joke as state leaders basically toss a coin to decide how to run their state. Right now it seems the only options are keeping economies wide open and inviting rampant COVID spread (aka Florida) or shutting everything down to curb disastrous COVID spread, but doing nothing to compensate out of work citizens financially (i.e. California).
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate in the U.S. in October stood at 6.9% compared to a 3.5% unemployment rate in February, before the pandemic began.
Also in the stimulus package was an extension of the eviction moratorium. It was set to expire at the end of 2020, but its been extended to the end of January, which basically just means you can’t be evicted before January 31, 2020 — however you still have to pay rent. According to CNBC, it is estimated that renters affected by the pandemic owe up to $25 billion in back rent, and that’s just rent payments, not utilities or late fees.
The good news is that Joe Biden’s administration wants better, and larger, stimulus checks in the next COVID relief package. January 20, 2020 can’t come soon enough.