Key point: With stimulus checks out and vaccination rates up, the economy seems poised for a major take off. Here is how two other large spending plans might help keep the new economy roaring.
President Biden, when he addressed a joint session of Congress this week, both touted what he called the success of his American Rescue Plan, which has delivered strong economic results in the president’s first 100 days.
In the speech, Biden did not say anything about a new round of full-on stimulus, the kind that would deliver checks to almost everyone in America the way the Rescue Plan did. But he did lay out plans for two new big packages, known as the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, which will spend over a trillion dollars, each, to provide further aid for Americans.
“We kept our commitment and we are sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85% of all American households. We’ve already sent more than 160 million checks out the door. It’s making a difference. For many people, it’s making all the difference in the world… together — we passed the American Rescue Plan,” Biden said, per his prepared text, as published by Politico. “One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. We’re already seeing the results.”
Could the new packages end up delivering a larger amount of aid than additional checks would have? Motley Fool recently looked at that question.
The piece acknowledges that a fourth stimulus check probably isn’t coming, but that that may be okay, because “while a stimulus check is a one-time payment, some of Biden's proposals could possibly help the typical American save money for years to come.”
The proposal in the American Families Plan to extend the expanded child tax credit to 2025, would save the average family $14,800 per year in child care costs, which is more than they would be getting from stimulus checks. However, those checks wouldn’t go to everyone, just to people with children.
It’s hard to make a dollar-to-dollar comparison of how the plans would compare to each other, simply because we don’t know how much the checks would be, and whether they would recur. It’s also not clear whether the Families Plan will pass in the form proposed by Biden in the speech, or if negotiation to get it through Congress will lead to those numbers changing.
The latest round of the stimulus checks from the American Rescue Plan went out on April 28, according to the IRS’ weekly report about the checks. The batch, which is the seventh that’s been sent out, consisted of nearly 2 million payments, with a total value of more than $4.3 billion, bringing the total from the seven disbursements to 163 million payments, totaling $384 billion.
The batch totaled 730,000 “plus-up” payments, valued at a total of $1.3 billion. Those are the additional payments going out to those whose financial condition changed between the filing of their 2019 and 2020 tax returns, making them eligible for an additional check.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest. Image: Reuters.