In recent months, families in need of an additional financial incentive have taken advantage of the Enhanced Child Tax Credit, which has included monthly payments of up to $250 to up to $300 per eligible dependent. This money, which has ended up in millions of mailboxes and bank accounts every month since July, has helped families with children and teenagers make ends meet at a time when the country is still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
But while this money has been essential for households with children, millions of U.S. households without family members, including those still struggling with income losses or other financial hardship due to the pandemic, have been less fortunate. While some childless households have benefited from the three different direct incentive payments issued earlier in the pandemic, it has been several months since the most recent direct incentive payment was issued. And at the end of November, there were no plans to spend more stimulus money on needy Americans.
The lack of continued financial support for millions of households has led lawmakers and ordinary citizens to call for more widespread financial support. So far, none of the efforts have been successful, but that hasn’t stopped the push for more stimulus money. In fact, one petition now has millions of supporters asking for more stimulus checks. This is what drives millions of Americans to get more money — and what the petition is asking for.
What does this petition call for — and why?
In late November, millions of Americans signed a petition calling for more stimulus — and the widespread support is due in large part to the rapidly mounting problems with inflation. In recent months, inflation has taken a huge toll on the country’s economy, with prices soaring and costs spiraling out of control for everything from gas to gifts — and it’s happening just in time for the holiday season.
As such, experts are now suggesting that this holiday season could be one of the most expensive in recent memory. And as much of the nation still struggles to overcome the effects of the pandemic, it could cause major problems for many, many households.
Issues like this are exactly why nearly 3 million people have now signed up to support a Change.org petition. The petition, calling on Congress to issue revolving stimulus checks worth $2,000 per household, calls the pandemic-related problems “catastrophic” and states, in part, “I call on Congress to support families with a $2,000 adult payment. and an immediate $1,000 payment for children and continued regular checkups for the duration of the crisis.”
And the comments from supporters posted to the petition reflect similar sentiments.
A recent supporter wrote that they signed the petition because the pandemic has caused prices to spiral out of control, stating: “The pandemic has skyrocketed the cost of everything. The incentive would help solve this dilemma.”
Another recent comment states that more incentives are needed because they can’t keep up with the bills. “I have two jobs and so does my roommate, but we can’t keep up with the bills for our hospital stays from last year. They pulled the rug from under us when we needed them most. This pandemic is not over as long as everyone goes from week to week. week is struggling to catch up because of the damage,” it reads.
And yet another comment directly notes how the Child Tax Credit has helped those with dependents, while leaving others without dependents. It reads: “It’s great that people with children are getting support, but those of us without children are hurting too! Prices are so high and our wages can’t keep up. We need help!”
Does this petition lead to more stimulus money?
While there are clearly millions of Americans who support the idea of continued direct incentive payments, this petition is unlikely to do much to change lawmakers’ minds. Several other petitions have been made to call on lawmakers to pass more direct stimulus payments, and so far all attempts have failed.
That said, there are several compelling reasons why it would make sense for lawmakers to agree to a new stimulus payment for Americans — and the issues with inflation play an important role. Earlier this month, there were numerous reports – including one citing data from the Department of Agriculture – that indicated that inflation in 2021 was likely to become the costliest holiday in history.
This in regards to the holiday cost projection was largely due to rising food costs, pushing the average price of US dinners up by 5%. That alone can add a ton of extra cash to the cost of Thanksgiving or other holiday dinners.
And that’s just one estimate of the average cost increase. According to a recent report from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost of dinner may have risen by as much as 14% — and if it does, it could cause traditional holiday dinners for many low-middle-income households across the country. country.
Problems like this won’t just affect the holidays either. A 5% to 14% increase for the average American diner is a steep jump for any household and is likely to cause problems with food insecurity or other financial stressors for millions of households.
But it’s not just food prices that are rising. In October, inflation rose by a whopping 6.2% year-on-year, according to the consumer price index — its highest peak since 1990. That inflation spike will have a direct effect on the prices of all holiday purchases this year — from gifts to wrapping paper and groceries. And it will also directly affect travel and other holiday-related expenses – which could make it difficult for some households to visit relatives or loved ones in 2021.
Those issues, coupled with the threat of the newly identified ommicron strain of COVID-19, could help justify increased funding from Congress. But whether that will actually work remains to be seen.