New York Times: The Inequality of the GoFundMe Economy

New York Times: The Inequality of the GoFundMe Economy. “Turning to the internet for financial help didn’t work very well in a pandemic. That was among the discouraging conclusions of a new academic research paper that examined efforts on the fund-raising website GoFundMe to collect money for health care bills, groceries, funeral costs and other needs that resulted from the coronavirus crisis.”

IRS: IRS unveils online tool to help low-income families register for monthly Child Tax Credit payments

IRS: IRS unveils online tool to help low-income families register for monthly Child Tax Credit payments. “The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today unveiled an online Non-filer Sign-up tool designed to help eligible families who don’t normally file tax returns register for the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit payments, scheduled to begin July 15. This tool, an update of last year’s IRS Non-filers tool, is also designed to help eligible individuals who don’t normally file income tax returns register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments (also known as stimulus checks) and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed.”

Times-Union: Online database of New York incentive projects goes live

Times-Union: Online database of New York incentive projects goes live. “The Database of Economic Incentives is hosted on the Open NY website, the state’s public data platform. The new database lists the loans, grants, and tax credits given to more than 1,000 projects statewide that have received a combined investment of $18.4 billion from both the government and the private sector. It will be updated every three months.”

Washington Post: Biden administration to launch massive funeral assistance program for covid victims

Washington Post: Biden administration to launch massive funeral assistance program for covid victims. “The Biden administration next week will launch a funeral assistance program that will provide up to $9,000 to cover the burial costs of each American who died of covid-19 — the largest program of its type ever offered by the federal government. The program is open to families regardless of their income, as long as they show documentation and have not already received similar benefits through another program.”

U.S. gives Palestinians $15 million for COVID-19 response: statement (Reuters)

Reuters: U.S. gives Palestinians $15 million for COVID-19 response: statement. “The Biden administration is giving the Palestinians $15 million to aid in their COVID-19 response in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Thursday. The funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would help support efforts by the Catholic Relief Services in healthcare facilities as well as address food insecurity, the statement said.”

FEMA: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

FEMA: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. “Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. We are working with stakeholder groups to get their input on ways we can best provide this assistance, and to enlist their help with outreach to families and communities. FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April.”

Covid stimulus: Biden signs $1.9tn relief bill into law (BBC)

BBC: Covid stimulus: Biden signs $1.9tn relief bill into law. “US President Joe Biden has signed a $1.9tn (£1.4tn) economic relief bill that aims to help Americans impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic into law. The bill includes $1,400 payments, an extension of jobless benefits, and a child tax credit that is expect to lift millions out of poverty.”

Economists: Biden’s $1,400 Covid-19 Checks May be Great Politics, but it’s Questionable Economics (Route Fifty)

Route Fifty: Economists: Biden’s $1,400 Covid-19 Checks May be Great Politics, but it’s Questionable Economics. “The coronavirus package contains a lot of provisions that will help struggling Americans, and we understand why the checks are so popular – with 78% support among adults in a recent survey. No one turns down extra money, after all. But as economists, we also believe that these direct payments make little economic sense – even with the lower income threshold. And this is true whether you think the purpose of the checks is relief or stimulus.”

Wall Street Journal: Biden White House Chief Learns From Obama Mistakes to Sell Covid-19 Plan

Wall Street Journal: Biden White House Chief Learns From Obama Mistakes to Sell Covid-19 Plan. “White House chief of staff Ron Klain is trying to avoid the pitfalls of the last Democratic administration with his approach to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package: Don’t spend months pursuing Republican votes and don’t wait to start selling it to the public.”

The Invisible Hand: Personal Income, Consumer Spending rise significantly with the help of federal aid

The Invisible Hand: Personal Income, Consumer Spending rise significantly with the help of federal aid. “Personal income surged in January as Americans received $600 stimulus checks, leading to new optimism about the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. The monthly report issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for January noted a personal income increase of 10%, the second largest on record, was aided by federal stimulus checks and a $300 a week boost to unemployment benefits. Consumer spending had an increase of 2.4%, while the savings rate continued to rise at an extraordinary rate topping 20.5% for the month. ”

Tracking the money: Bid to make business rescue more inclusive undercut by lack of data (Politico)

Politico: Tracking the money: Bid to make business rescue more inclusive undercut by lack of data. “The Small Business Administration, which runs the Paycheck Protection Program, is facing massive data gaps in how more than $660 billion in loans have been distributed because it does not require business owners to report demographic information when they apply for aid. It only began asking new applicants to voluntarily report the data in January, nine months after the program was launched.”

CNN: FCC approves $50 monthly internet subsidies for low-income households during pandemic

CNN: FCC approves $50 monthly internet subsidies for low-income households during pandemic. “The agency’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides eligible low-income households with up to a $50 per month credit on their internet bills through their provider until the end of the pandemic. In tribal areas, eligible households may receive up to $75 per month. The program also provides eligible households up to $100 off of one computer or tablet.”

NBC News: How billions in pandemic aid was swindled by con artists and crime syndicates

NBC News: How billions in pandemic aid was swindled by con artists and crime syndicates. “When investigators raided a strip mall store in Garden Grove, California, in December, they found a line of customers snaking around the parking lot and huge stacks of cash inside the store. Orange County prosecutors say Nguyen Social Services was charging up to $700 a pop to file false unemployment claims for people who did not qualify to receive Covid-19 relief money. The brazen fraud was part of an overall scheme that cost taxpayers an estimated $11 million, prosecutors say.”