OSU expert breaks down the $2T stimulus package and what it means for you

The near $2 trillion coronavirus relief package is set to pass, sending checks up to $1,400 to millions of struggling Americans and added relief to thousands of struggling businesses.

Posted: Mar 9, 2021 7:07 PM
Updated: Mar 9, 2021 7:51 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- The near $2 trillion coronavirus relief package is set to pass, sending checks up to $1,400 to millions of struggling Americans and added relief to thousands of struggling businesses.

While this package is not the biggest relief set we've seen, it was the most contentious in the Senate and House.

KEZI 9 News talked to Chris Stout, Asociate Political Science Professor at Oregon State University, who said this is for a few different reasons. 

"We know the first act -- the CARES Act was over $2 trillion -- so this bill is smaller, and we know it got unanimous support in the U.S. Senate," said Stout.

There's also so much that's different about it, starting with the child tax credit. As it stands now, for every child under 16, a family gets $2,000 in tax credits. If the bill passes, that will go up to $3,000 for kids between the ages of 5 and 17 and $3,600 for kids age 5 and younger.

"Some economists say it will cut child poverty in half," said Stout.

The unemployed get a break as well.

"In the previous bills, unemployment was taxed. In the newest bill, you won't be taxed for federal unemployment up to $13,000," he said.

He also said people will be bringing home more money this time around, but fewer people will get the stimulus. That's because phaseouts also differ this time. In the past, they began at $75,000 and ended with those making $100,000. Now, for every $1,000 of income more than the base $75,000, you get $280 less, bottoming out at $80,000 of income or more.

Abdul Wahled, who owns a food truck in Kesey Square, said he hasn't even gotten his last stimulus check, but he also said it's not all bad.

"Speaking for my business -- since the pandemic, we've had about 25% more business," he said. It's due in part to the nature of a foodtruck being that you don't sit down inside to eat.

Dependents also get an opportunity to cash in this time. 

"In the previous bills I believe it was capped at 16 or 17 or younger were the dependents who received it so it left this loophole where college students who didn't make enough money didn't get any stimulus money," said Stout.

Now college-aged people 23 and younger who don't make $75,000 will get the full $1,400 stimulus, which is a sigh of relief for for those who had been left out.

University of Oregon student Alex Fletcher said these last two times, she's received nothing.

"I've actually lost my job twice now. Once when we shut down for the first half and I wasn't eligible for anything," Fletcher said. "It makes up for essentially three months I was not able to actually work," she said.

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