The National Public Radio (NPR) reported the details from the Senate's $2T coronavirus relief aid package. The article’s author, Kelsey Snell, describes how the $2T is allocated to different sectors. Snell says, “Most individuals earning less than $75K per year can expect a one-time cash payment of $1.2K. Married couples would each receive a combined check, with families receiving an additional $500 per child. That means a family of four earning less than $150K can expect $3.4K.” This support from the federal government can provide temporary assistance for many individuals. Due to the virus, many people in the United States are now remaining home. Many are not able to pay their bills, as they have no way to earn money. This government assistance can help low-income Americans pay for their housing expenses and other daily necessities. Snell also states, “Some people have not filed their 2019 tax returns, but that's OK. The filing deadline has been extended to July 15.” This extension is significant because it provides more time for people who may not have the resources to pay taxes. At the same time, people anticipating a tax refund can still file immediately and receive the money quickly. However, the amount of assistance is not sufficient for some people, particularly singles, whose overhead expenses are significantly higher when compared to the amount they are receiving under this relief bill.
The $2T coronavirus relief fund is allocated into several sectors. The fund includes: $560B for individuals; $500B for large corporations; $377B for small businesses; $339.8B for state and local governments; $153.5B for public health expenses; $43.7B toward educational institutions; and a national safety net of $26B.
Although the fund allocation can address certain elements of the crisis well, it is not sufficient to meet the needs of many people. For example, the amount of assistance allocated to individuals who earn less than $75K should be increased, as a one-time grant of $1200 does not provide sufficient assistance to most people. In addition, the relief fund does not account for the underemployed, whose working hours have been reduced by the crisis. These individuals are now earning less money, and as a result, are having difficulties meeting their basic expenses. At the same time, these people are not eligible to apply for unemployment benefits, which could potentially help them survive. It is also not clear whether dependents above the age of eighteen will also receive the $500 grant. Finally, it is interesting to compare the amount of money allocated to individuals ($560B), as opposed to the grants received by private corporations ($877B).
Although the amount allocated to individuals should be increased, the United States ranks among the fortunate countries who can make the decision to support their citizens by issuing cash grants. Most countries in existence today are not able to provide such assistance to their people.