The U.S. government is nearly finished distributing stimulus checks from the American Rescue Plan Act that passed earlier this year, and a report issued by the IRS earlier this week shows some interesting facts about where the money went.
It turns out there are different average amounts, per state, as to who got which money. Households in Utah received the highest average amount, of $2,784, while families in Idaho got the second-most, with $2,628, CBS News reported.
What’s the reason? It’s simply that families in heavily Mormon Utah tend to have more children, with the highest number of children per household, 3.1, of any state in the union.
Washington, D.C. is the only part of the U.S. in which the average payment per household was less than $2,000, at $1,965. Massachusetts had the second-lowest at $2,215, with most of the smallest numbers coming in Northeastern states.
Another factor is that some families did not receive payments because their income level is too high to be eligible, and there are more such families in the Northeastern U.S.
The recently released IRS data also showed how much money was distributed by income level, with those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 getting the largest chunk.
The American Rescue Plan was the third distribution of stimulus checks since the start of the pandemic, but it is almost certain to be the last. That’s because the Biden Administration is not pursuing a fourth round of stimulus checks, nor is there enough support in Congress to pass such checks into law.
The Administration did not include a fourth round of checks in its proposed federal budget, nor is such a measure part of the reported negotiations for an infrastructure package. The Administration is following a two-track plan for infrastructure, with one based on the framework of the bipartisan deal between the White House and a group of senators, and the other based on Democratic priorities, which would pass the Senate through reconciliation with only Democratic votes. It remains unclear whether both, or neither package will ultimately become law.
The deal reached from the bipartisan deal, per The Washington Post, would “provide clean drinking water to 10 million Americans, build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country, and connect every American to ‘reliable high-speed Internet.’” There will also be $49 billion marked in the package marked for public transit and an additional $66 billion for passenger and freight rail.
The package will be funded by a combination of measures, including “stepped-up” IRS enforcement, as well as some cuts to unemployment insurance, and additional money from “selling public infrastructure to private interests.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.