The coronavirus stimulus checks helped many Americans ease some of their financial strain during the pandemic. But one expert thinks the government still needs to cough up more money to provide adequate relief.
“It has to be far more than just once,” Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines, told Yahoo Finance. “To suggest that a one-time $1,200 check is going to be enough is just ridiculous.”
As part of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package called the CARES Act, about 175 Americans will receive or have received checks up to $1,200 plus $500 per child under 17.
The amount isn't substantial enough to supplement the average American household’s monthly net pay of $3,000, Edelman said, and that’s not including paying for living expenses or necessities like food and medicine.
The solution to the “urgent, big situation” is far more complex than just reopening the economy so people can return to work. Edelman warned that the country first needs to address the “more immediate problem” of relieving the financial burden and “the longer we delay, the harder it will be to recover,” he said.
At the cross-hairs of this battle is Congress and Edelman places blame squarely at its feet. He criticized Congress for “dilly-dallying” and failing to get money into the hands of Americans who are in financial jeopardy.
“Congress is acting way too slow, way too stingy,” he said, noting politicians are too focused on “who is responsible for this mess as opposed to dealing with the fact that we have a mess that has to be dealt with.”
Last week, the House of Representatives passed another relief package called the HEROES Act that would provide up to $1,200 per individual with a maximum amount of $6,000 per household. The Republican-dominated Senate has yet to vote on the act and it’s unclear if the act will ever come up for a vote.
Edelman said a day of reckoning will eventually come and U.S. voters will “demand quicker action, more meaningful action.”
“We have to get Washington moving to help people deal with this pandemic immediately,” Edelman said. “That means the political parties have to set aside their bickering differences and do what's right for the country.”