NEW YORK - A study conducted by Columbia University says that more than 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty as a direct result of losing the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment checks that came from the first COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress in the Spring.
The checks expired in July, sending millions of Americans back into poverty and without much hope on the horizon, as Congress is still far apart on agreeing to a new stimulus package.
"We're talking about families who cannot afford to put food on the table for themselves and their children," said Zachary Parolin, a poverty and social researcher at Columbia University. "We're talking about families who are now one step closer to not being able to pay their rent at the end of the month and potentially facing the threat of eviction."
"Particularly for blacks and those with a high school educatino or less who are likely to have been in jobs that disappeared," said Dr. Bruce Meyer, an economist at the University of Chicago. "It is also clear that poverty increased quite a bit for children."
A high poverty rate is also a drag on the economy as a whole.
"If you want a swift economic recovery, if you want to see your paychecks going up, well then we need more people spending money in the economy," Parolin said.
The bottom line, experts say, is that if the federal government does not pass another rescue bill, the poverty rate will continue to rise at a fast pace.
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