With the government discussing the possibilities of a second stimulus check, a new study has observed that black people, Latinos, and the poor were less likely to receive the $1,200 direct payments that Congress passed early this year to aid those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Inconsistencies of the stimulus checks
Tax Policy Center's study revealed that while the distribution of the direct payments to Americans was mostly successful, there were also several inconsistencies on who received the stimulus checks that depended on income, race, ethnicity, and family citizenship.
According to USA Today, 30 percent of adults aged younger than 65 years old reported that their families failed to receive the stimulus payments or did not have knowledge if the payment has arrived as of the end of May.
Nearly 59 percent of adults that were earning at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level had reported that they received the stimulus checks and almost 74 percent of white adults confirmed they have gotten their payments. Only 69 percent of black adults and 64 percent of Hispanics, however, reported that they received their government support.
The report also said there were several reasons for the disparities, including some people lacking a bank account or having no access to the internet. Some adult Latinos, on the other hand, were ineligible to receive their stimulus checks because either they or their spouse were undocumented or did not have the qualifications to be considered residents of the US.
The difficulties faced in the first stimulus check will likely challenge lawmakers on their proposals for the second batch of direct payments.
Congressional leaders are hoping that by the end of the month, a second coronavirus stimulus check would be passed. United States President Donald Trump had previously met with GOP leaders on Monday where he discussed his plans for the second stimulus package.
Co-author of the study, Janet Holtzblatt, told reporters during an interview that individuals who did not file tax returns were less likely to receive the stimulus checks due to the difficulty the tax system has in reaching them, as reported by The Hill.
Equalizing government support
To address the issue, Senate Democrats have proposed a new plan to give equal opportunities to communities of color. The Economic Justice Act would distribute $350 billion to the worst-stricken communities.
Untouched funds from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending programs would provide part of the act's funding.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic Leader, said that before the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession that the country is currently facing, there have already been structural inequalities that limit some people's opportunities.
According to Forbes, the act focuses on reversing "decades of underinvestment" in communities of color and provides several programs to help citizens rise economically. Democrats are suggesting to pay for the act by taking more than half of its required funds from unspent money by the CARES Act that would amount to nearly $200 billion.