Second Stimulus Check Confirmed: Will African Americans Be Left Behind?

CBx Vibe:Stimulus Check” Rexx Life Raj

By CultureBanx Team

  • 26 million more people might get cash this time around with the HEALS act
  • Stimulus checks that were delivered faster to wealthy whites than to Black and Hispanic families

Many Americans need another financial boost to help them bounce back from the economic hardships caused by the pandemic. It now seems like a second proposed stimulus check is likely, and 26 million more people might get cash this ti me around thanks to the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections and Schools act (HEALS),  that could include benefits beyond another payment. The lingering question this time around will be how can the government execute on provisions in the HEALS act  to ensure it isn’t discriminating against Blacks and low-income households.

Why This Matters: Let’s hope people of color will receive these second checks a lot quicker than they did the first time. A study by the Urban Institute found discriminatory outcomes with stimulus checks that were delivered faster to wealthy whites than to Black and Hispanic families as well as to lower-income households. Specifically, three-quarters of White adults received their checks by late May, compared with 69% of Black adults and 63% of Hispanic adults. Not to mention, nearly half of all Americans have reported the loss of income from March through the beginning of July, according to Census data. This highlights the financial stress that households are facing as the pandemic and economic lockdown triggers the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Median Black families in the U.S. earn about 59 cents for every dollar earned by the median white household.

At the beginning of June, the IRS said it had distributed some 159 million payments, worth more than $267 billion. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, concluded that while the rollout of the cash payments was a success in many ways, there were significant disparities by income, race, ethnicity and family citizenship, in terms of who received the money. Some of these issues may reflect structural economic and racial inequities, with median Black families in the U.S. earning about 59 cents for every dollar earned by the median white household. Also, people of color are more likely to be “underbanked” or “unbanked” compared to white consumers.

What’s Next: A continuation of unemployment benefits in the HEALS act could also be a plus for the Black community. The Senate proposal would extend benefits based on 70% to 75% of lost wages, starting at $200 a week and over time increasing to $500 a week, with state assistance. While the Black unemployment rate declined in June to 15.4%, it’s still higher than any other ethnic demographic. Let’s just hope things can get sorted out before the Senate is set to break for its month long recess on August 7.

CBx Vibe:Stimulus Check” Rexx Life Raj

CONTRIBUTOR

CultureBanx Team

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