The Indicator from Planet Money - The Biden Relief Bill: Who Gets What

President Biden's Covid relief plan calls for about $1.9 trillion in government spending. Where is all that money going? We discuss a few of the biggest items in the bill.

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Evelyn Stacy in Cardiff here. This is the indicator from planet money right now A bill that would spend about 1.9 trillion dollars into the economy is making its way through Congress. It's called American Rescue plan, but we're just going to call at the Biden bill because that's kind of what it is. And after it's finished being tweaked by Congress. It is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden within the next week or so. It is a big deal almost 2 trillion dollars one of the biggest spending bills in American history equal to roughly 9% of us gross domestic product in the show. We're not discussing whether the overall size of the bill is too big to small or just write a question that Economist or still debating and said we are taking a closer look at the details of what's actually in the bill who is getting the money and how much from my parents are getting to at the unemployed or getting to what small businesses and state and local governments are getting

Almost everyone is getting what effect it might have on each of those groups including how it might directly affect. A lot of you are listeners that break down right after a quick break.

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Okay, who is getting what in the Bible.

First stop is what most adults in the country are going to get a one-time payment of up to $1,400. This is the single biggest part of the bill. And here's where the bill stands now if you made less than $75,000 either last year or the year before you will get the phone at 14-under box beyond that if you made between 75000 and eighty thousand dollars you get a smaller amount and if you made more than $80,000, you will not get one of these checks for married couples to file their taxes together. The cut-off for getting a check is a combined income of $160,000 and these checks are both the biggest and the most universal part of the bill exact amount of money that your household will get does depend on a few things in addition to your income like whether you have kids or other dependents, but even so roughly 80 to 90% of all households in the US are going to get checks for some amount of money and the hope is that people will spend that money to help boost the economy.

so next up people who are getting money in the stimulus Bill the unemployed $400 per week on top of what they would normally get from their state in unemployment benefits When there is an academic and that extra $400 a week will last until nearly the end of August and there's a lot of people still claiming unemployment benefits of each week almost nine times as many people as a year ago, right before the pandemic started that's more than 19 million people claiming those benefits right now and a big part of the reason why there are so many is the government is expanded the range of people who can qualify for these benefits during the pandemic and the reason unemployment benefits matter for the overall economy is at the allow people to continue spending money while they are between jobs paying their rent find groceries buying school supplies for their kids without the extra $400 unemployment benefits would only replace less than half of a workers lost income on average, but with the extra four hundred

Dollars from the stimulus Bill these benefits will be replacing more than 85% of the Lost income for the average unemployed worker.

Next up state and local governments what they're going to get from the bill so tax revenues for a lot of state and local governments have just dried up during the pandemic and some of them have been forced to cut back on services that they typically provide like garbage collection law enforcement mental health and addiction treatment services and a bunch of others workers. Especially a lot of workers in public schools teachers administrators janitors. It's one of the hardest-hit sectors of the labor market. So this bill provides 350 billion dollars for state and local governments that might end up being more money than state and local governments lost during pandemic 350 billion dollars is above the range of estimates for how much money state and local governments will have lost through next year. It's also true that some states and local governments are in worse shape than others. And that one of the big debate in the Senate is over just how to allocate this month.

Between different states and cities if we stop right here just right now and out of the cost of those three things that we have discussed the checks that go out to almost everybody stimulus check the bigger unemployment insurance benefits and the money that goes to State and local governments. That is the biggest part of the bill roughly half of it around a trillion dollars is going to go to those three things combined there's all kinds of interesting and important stuff in the rest of the bill to so here's a few more that we definitely think are worth mentioning starting with what parents are going to get. So parents are going to get an extra $1,400 for each of their children and this includes adult children who parents list as their dependents. If you are a family of four people say to spouses into kids the total that you're going to get in those one-time checks is up to $5,600, but that's not all the bill also increases the size of the child.

Tax credit for one year so parents will now be able to offset their tax bills by $3,600 for each kid under the age of 6, the really young ones and buy $3,000 for other kids were not yet adults bottom line take that same family of four band. Let's see both parents make less than $75,000 each year and let's either two kids are very young their toddlers that family could get a total of nearly $13,000 in checks and tax credits because of this bill.

Okay, and now let's look at what schools are going to get kindergarten to 12th grade schools are going to get roughly a hundred and thirty billion dollars, but maybe what's most interesting is what that money is intended for Guess Who this money is not for textbooks. It is for things that make it easier for schools to reopen and operate during the pandemic. So things like improving ventilation buy more personal protective equipment and changing the shape of a classroom. So that social distancing between students is easier.

Next up the deal includes tens of billions of dollars for loans and grants to businesses and the industry that's going to get the single biggest amount in Grants. So that's money that does not have to be paid back is bars and restaurants bars and restaurants. They can prove they lost money last year will be eligible for up to $10 each in Grants and the bill set aside a total of 25 billion dollars for eateries and watering holes in restaurants, even though that is the most it any Industries getting in this Bill Summers effective is important here last year bars and restaurants lost about a hundred and forty five billion dollars in sales from the year before. It's a 20% Decline and there are still nearly two and a half million fewer jobs in bars and restaurants in before the pandemic and this year knock on wood will not be as bad because people are getting vaccinated Kobe cases are coming down and more of the country is reopening still.

That is a huge hole to dig out of and that's it or Heather. That's not it at all. Like there's money in there for housing assistance for kaleva, testing vaccine distribution money for children's nutrition. Lots of other stuff. We limit ourselves to the biggest spending items and a few others that we thought were notable. But if you want to see more will post lots of reading material about the bill to NPR. Org money and there's a chance that some of these details will change between what's expected right now and what finally lands on President Biden's desk for his signature, you know, part of it is politics weird stuff happens, you know, it makes me grateful that were in economics, which always makes sense, right?

This episode of the indicator was produced by Tamela Huxtable with help from Gilly Moon. He was fact-checked by SanSai indicator is edited by Jolie Myers and it is a production of NPR.

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