WASHINGTON — Millions of people started receiving their emergency stimulus checks last week, but apparently it’s just a start. According to a new survey, 84% of Americans would already like to receive a second round of governmental help as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The COVID-19 outbreak wiped out more than 22 million U.S. jobs in just about a month, essentially debilitating the national economy. In response Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that ensured virtually all Americans receive a one-time stimulus check of $1200. That money is a huge help for the millions struggling financially in the wake of this pandemic, but let’s face it: $1200 doesn’t get you all that far in 2020.
At this point it’s impossible to say when the economy will return to “normal,” and who knows how long it will take for the average American to get back on their feet. This month’s rent may be paid, but next month represents an ever present problem for millions right now.
The survey, commissioned by WalletHub, included 350 nationally representative respondents. Besides its revelation regarding stimulus checks, the survey also estimates that 160 million Americans are less than three months away from going completely broke. A staggering 29% of respondents are less than one month away from running out of money.
Tens of millions of Americans are applying for unemployment, and 56% of surveyed participants said that unemployment payments shouldn’t exceed what a person was being paid in their last job. Also, a third of respondents said they would donate some of their stimulus money to coronavirus relief funds.
Breaking down the survey’s results according to age, millennials are 25% more likely than baby boomers to believe stimulus checks should only be given to people dealing with a loss of income. Another 53% of all respondents agree that businesses need stimulus money more than individuals. But, which businesses? Most of that group (50%) said small businesses, while 3% have a soft spot in their hearts for American corporations and big businesses.
That being said, 70% believe government aid should only come to businesses that are actually losing money during this pandemic. Sorry Netflix.
The majority (65%) of respondents think stimulus checks are a better way to help American families than cancelling mortgage or rent payments. Meanwhile, 43% plan to use their stimulus money to pay rent. Others will save that money (26%), spend it on food (26%), or buy some “non-essentials” (4%). Notably, 91% said they would use some of their stimulus money to stock up on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Should everyone receive a second stimulus check? Most respondents (62%) believe so, while 14% think only those who were recently laid off should qualify for more financial help.