Fact: Families are getting more than $600 stimulus payments, but not $8,000

Have you received your stimulus payment?

Happy New Year and have you checked your bank account?

With all the arguing over stingy stimulus payments, you might get a surprise when you see what you actually got.

The media didn’t really focus on the details here, and the politicians went right along with it. Here’s the facts: the payment isn’t simply $600 for a family, it’s $600 for each member of a family, if a couple filing as “married” makes an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or under, or a single head of household makes $75,000 or under. Over that, the amount begins to decrease (by $5 per $100).

See the calculator here to determine what you should receive.

According to 2019 figures, 18.6% of American households make $150,000 or more, which means 81.4% will receive their full stimulus payment. Of American households, 60% have no children 18 or under living at home, and 23.3% have two or more kids; just over 75% of households consist of married couples.

The average married couple with two kids will receive $2,400 in this stimulus payment, which is 30% less than the first stimulus, but it’s more than the measly $600 that we were hearing about in the media.

If the Senate had approved President Trump’s call for a $2,000 payment, these families would have received $2,000 per adult ($4,000 per couple), plus $2,000 per dependent, expanded in meaning from children to include all dependents. The average family would have received $8,000—$5,600 more than they are currently receiving.

The economic impact of that increase would be $463.806 billion dollars, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimate.

I understand that many families are behind in rent, mortgage payments, and are living on credit to buy necessities. Many parents have had to give up jobs to stay with young children who aren’t going to face-to-face school. Employment benefits, with the $600 weekly PUA added, are running out (the $600 benefit ran out last summer).

We’ve been led to believe that these families will only get a single $600 payment, when most of them will get at least $1,200 or as much as $3,000. This could have been $4,000 to $10,000, and might still be possible after Joe Biden’s inauguration, if Congress takes up the matter again (I believe it will). While some families need that money quite desperately, many others would have chosen to save the money.

Gen Xers were the least likely to put the money toward savings, at 10%, and more than a quarter of Silent Generation members (27%) were most likely to stash it, according to the BLS findings. 

When it came to paying for things, these two demographics swapped places: Gen X was the age group with the highest percentage (74%) saying they’d use their checks on expenses, and the Silent Generation was the lowest (59%).

It’s likely that many families can look forward to not only expanded PUA for unemployed adults, but also another large stimulus payment, combined with whatever tax refund they might receive. That amount of cash poured out from the public trust (our tax money) will generate some profligate spending for some, and for others, a modest investment.

The families who need the money should get it. But honestly, it should be part of the unemployment assistance package, not a stimulus check. If you haven’t lost work, you are getting thousands of “free” dollars, which your kids will have to pay back, with interest.

Don’t get me wrong, our family would love an $8,000 check from Uncle Sugar. But we’re just borrowing it from our kids, who haven’t earned it yet.

Have you gotten your stimulus money yet? Let us know in the comments.