Stimulus checks impact Coachella Valley residents

Many Americans are still struggling to find employment. Most get help from unemployment benefits and previous stimulus checks. The first stimulus check was released in April 2020 for $1,200, and the second was released in December 2020 for $600. The low amount of these two checks makes it difficult for people to live their lives and support their families.

Democrats and Republicans have been divided on how much and who should get the third stimulus check. According to details released by the House Ways and Means Committee, “the credit is $1,400 for a single taxpayer, in addition to $1,400 per dependent. The credit phases out between $75,500 and $100,000 of the adjusted gross income proportional to the taxpayers’ income in exes of the phaseout threshold over $25,000.”

CBS News reported that the Republican plans to send up to $1,000 checks to individuals earning up to $40,000 per year, $80,000 per couple.

According to CBS News, unlike the previous two stimulus checks, which restricted college students’ ability and disabled adults claimed as dependent by their parents. It also didn’t allow high school students ages 17 or 18 because they classified a child as 17 or younger. President Joe Biden’s proposal would allow for these individuals to receive stimulus checks.

Coachella Valley resident Esteffania Bautista said, “The most frustrating thing about the checks is determining who qualifies and who doesn’t. It isn’t fair that just because my parents have a high income, I don’t qualify even though I don’t get financial support from them.” She added, “I wouldn’t necessarily change this but would update the eligibility requirements.”

Local resident Vanessa Solares said, “I feel bad for people that unfortunately still don’t have jobs and have families to provide for. Those people, in my opinion, hope to keep receiving more checks at least until they get a job again.”

Even with some of the stimulus check’s uncertainty, the House Ways and Means Committee proposed extending the federal unemployment and benefits until August 29, 2021. With the extension, they also approved an increase of benefits from $300 to $400.

With taxes beginning to be processed on Feb. 12, many people may see this as a way to get money back that was taken out of their paycheck throughout the year. For many parents married or single raising, a child is difficult and expensive.

On Jan. 20, 2021, details of the child tax plan were released, and according to a White House press release, “Currently 27 million children live in families with household incomes low enough that they didn’t qualify for the full value of the child tax credit, and this measure would give these children and their families additionally needed recourses. The president is also calling to increase the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under the age of 6) and make 17 year-olds qualifying children for the year.”

Similar to the stimulus check, the child tax plan has requirements based on income to determine who gets these benefits. For couples, it is $120,000, and for single parents, it is $75,000 total income. While this may help parents getting only a max of just $3,600 and possibly getting the stimulus check also is letting down.

As we hear more and more about stimulus checks, it sounds as if we hear more talk about worrying who and how much should get what. Rather than let us help the American people. We are a nation of over 300 million people, and unfortunately, sometimes our big problems are the people who govern it.