Are all of us going to be waiting on a fourth stimulus check update soon? That’s the impression you might be left with based on recent headlines such as the fact that 53 members of the House of Representatives, as well as a group of Democratic Senators, have sent separate letters to the Biden administration in recent days calling for a fourth COVID-19 stimulus payment. “This crisis is far from over,” the Senators wrote, “and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.”
Moreover, Americans unsurprisingly are in favor of more stimulus checks being distributed. That’s according to a January poll (from Data For Progress) showing that almost two-thirds of voters back $2,000 payments each month for all Americans until the pandemic is over. Economists are also on board, as well, according to this open letter last year signed by several members of the profession. So, all that said, what are the chances that Americans might actually be in line for a fourth stimulus check issued by the federal government?
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It’s looking pretty unlikely at this point, for a mix of reasons that include a wall of political intransigence the Biden administration would likely run into if it tried this, plus an improving economy as well as a wildly successful vaccination effort in the US over the last several weeks.
Regarding the latter point, more than 167 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered during President Biden’s first 75 days in office. That’s according to the latest data, as of the time of this writing, from Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, and it puts the administration within striking distance of meeting the president’s goal of 200 million vaccine doses administered during his first 100 days in office.
With each vaccine dose that’s administered, that puts the US one step closer to ending the COVID pandemic — and, by extension, obviating the need for more dramatic stimulus efforts by the federal government.
Moreover, the economy is actually improving. This is big because economic conditions are pretty much the main reason why the multi-trillion-dollar stimulus packages were implemented in the first place. Along those lines, while unemployment is still high — with about 719,000 people having filed for unemployment insurance during the last week of March, up from one week prior — the four-week average is at a 1-year low. Moreover, consumer confidence is not only climbing against but also reaching its highest point since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The official measure of consumer confidence shows that almost 41% percent of consumers said they think business conditions will improve over the next six months, up over 10% from one month before.
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