According to the Census Bureau, COVID Stimulus Payments Reduced the Number of Americans Living in Poverty.
When COVID-19 stimulus payments were taken into account, the number of Americans living in poverty fell, according to the Census Bureau.
The official poverty metric, as calculated by the Census Bureau, showed that 11.4 percent of Americans were poor in 2020, up one percentage point from the previous year. After five years of decrease, the uptick was the first in five years.
When a more comprehensive measure of poverty was used, which included streams of income such as stimulus packages granted by the government to alleviate the COVID-19 economic recession, the number of Americans living in poverty actually decreased.
The decline in stimulus payments, according to Robert Greenstein, head of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a group that fights for low-income people, is proof that the government can help reduce poverty levels.
“It will be more difficult to retain a skeptical perspective that nothing much government does function effectively, particularly on the poverty front,” Greenstein said.
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Last year, the government shutdown caused vibrations through the economy. More than 20 million people lost their employment in April alone. Last year, unemployment offices gave out an average of 20 million claims every week. Although the economy has since recovered, employment remains approximately 5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels.
Last year, Congress enacted five bipartisan COVID-19 response legislation totaling about $3.5 trillion, which President Donald Trump signed into law. This year, Democrats used party-line votes to pass President Joe Biden’s roughly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The Census report does not account for its consequences.
Despite the fact that some federal help was delayed last year due to a variety of issues ranging from cost disputes to distribution issues, it largely protected American families from economic devastation, which would have exacerbated the public health crisis. Some groups, such as those who are not legally allowed to be in the nation, were left out.
According to economist Bruce Meyer, a University of Chicago expert on poverty, lawmakers from both parties were compelled to take dramatic action as Americans argued over measures like mask-wearing and closing down businesses and community life.
“You had Democrats who were really focused on assisting those who were disadvantaged. This is a condensed version of the information.