Julesa Webb, a nurse in St. Louis, was able to feed her three young children three full meals and one snack a day. In the absence of cash, "we had breakfast a little later than normal and then dinner – no lunch," she said. "Sometimes the kids had dried flakes because we didn't have milk." She also paid back some family loans and paid off her overdue rent. “I thought, 'Woo!' That's the most money I've ever seen in my bank account, "she said." I'm still in a hole, but I'm starting to see more sunlight now. "But most of all, she was" able to make that the children were completely full ".
"It's really depressing to worry about losing light and water," said Corrine Young of Chicago. "Very stressful. It was a very, very dark road." Her water and lights are back on thanks to government controls, and she can feed the teen and baby in her household and continue her own treatment for schizophrenia. The day she received her incentive payments, she checked her bank account to see if she could afford bread. She bought two loaves of bread that day and paid her utility bills. "I did it that day," she said. "You just don't know – it was such a relief."
Scott Winship, a poverty scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who has probably never starved or turned off his lights, doesn't believe any of this, by the way. He believes mental health has improved because there is now a vaccine and the economy reopened. "I would really doubt if these are the stimulus checks," he said. Winship's AEI Scholarship likely never expanded to talking to real people living in actual poverty about their daily lives and the things that weigh on them. Happy Scott Winship.
For the study's authors, the reality is pretty clear: "We're seeing an immediate decline amid multiple hardships focused on the most deprived families," said H. Luke Shaefer, a professor at the University of Michigan, who the study together with. Patrick Cooney wrote: "He estimates that since the beginning of the year 5.2 million children have been saved from food insecurity." Cash gives families great flexibility to address their most pressing problems and the government knows how to find out quickly, " he told the Times.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which does real research on poverty and inequality, adds to the discussion, indicating that while the recovery plan has helped, there is still a great deal of hardship. The Household Pulse Survey for the third week of May found that 26.4% of adults had difficulty getting normal expenses, 14.3% of renters are still in arrears, and 9.1% of adults said their household was on didn't get enough to eat.
According to the CBPP, the provisions of the US bailout must be made permanent in order to make "critical investments in children" and ultimately promote racial and income equality. The temporary investments included in the COVID-19 relief packages have shown that this can be done, but Democrats will have to fight like hell to keep them up.
That includes breaking off negotiations with the Republicans in the Senate over infrastructure laws – they'll never really agree to anything, as this is all about delaying it. It means ignoring the Senate MP and advancing the passing of the bills through reconciliation. It means President Biden is using the full weight of his office and authority – and the harassed pulpit – to reconcile wayward Senate Democrats.
The results of the US bailout in just a few months – child child support in particular – have shown what Democrats can achieve when they struggle and how much is at stake.