Got a $1,200 stimulus debit card in the mail? Yes, it's real
About four million Americans will receive their stimulus corona cash on a prepaid debit card, according to the Treasury Department.And yes, these debit cards are real.If you thought these debit cards were fake, you have a lot of company, according to local accountants.“One client thought the card was a scam, and shredded the prepaid debit card which had their $1,200 payment,” said David Zalles, a CPA based in Blue Bell.“It took a lot of people by surprise,” said Mary Lew Kehm, a CPA in Whitehall Township.As the Treasury Department sends out the prepaid debit cards — called Economic Impact Paym...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Bosses say $600 coronavirus unemployment boost makes reopening harder
CHICAGO — About a month after suit-maker Hart Schaffner & Marx furloughed its nearly 250 factory employees, the Des Plaines-based company called them all back to work, marshaling their talents to cut and sew face masks suddenly in high demand to protect against COVID-19.But there was an unanticipated hurdle: Many employees were making more money on unemployment insurance than they did working. While unemployment benefits usually pay a fraction of a person’s regular wages — 47% in Illinois, up to a cap — people laid off or furloughed amid government-mandated shutdowns are getting an additional ...
The Week Ahead: Counting the uncounted
Investors are braced for an unemployment rate around 20% when the May figure is released on Friday in the week ahead. What’s less certain is how many people won’t be included in that jobless number even though they have lost work.Instead of focusing on what will likely be a jaw-dropping unemployment rate in May, economists and investors increasingly are turning attention to how many people are considered part of the labor force. Also in focus will be how many people are no longer counted in the workforce, but want a job.That number has more than doubled since February because of COVID-19. Almo...
Commentary: US economy needs to reset, not restart
The disproportionate COVID-19-related death rates and job losses suffered by communities of color in the United States are a stark reminder of the glaring systemic inequities baked into our economy.Getting back to “normal” will only serve to deepen these disparities. Instead, we need a top-to-bottom shift in our economy that puts the health, prosperity and resilience of all people — whatever their race, class or gender — as our core priority.That means rethinking our automobile-centered way of life. The dramatically cleaner air we’re now breathing, and the steep decline in traffic crashes are ...
Tribune News Service
Benjamin Hochman: For two St. Louisans, being a minor-league umpire means unemployment and uncertainty
You know that feeling — which probably takes a half-second, but seems like a half-hour — when you’re waiting for an umpire to make a call?These days, that’s how umpires feel for much of the day. The anticipation, the apprehension, the hint of optimism, the fear of impending doom. That especially is true for the minor-league umpires, who wonder if there even will be minor leagues in 2020.Of the games, Trevor Dannegger said, “it’s just kind of a waiting game.”You might recognize that name. The St. Louis native was a subject in this column space last August. As an umpire, he’s one of the top pros...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A battle over billions in stolen Venezuelan funds is heating up in Miami federal court
MIAMI — The fate of billions of dollars squirreled away in the bank accounts, luxury properties and exotic cars of convicted Venezuelan officials and their business cronies has become entangled in a colossal legal battle in Miami federal court.On one side is Venezuela’s opposition party, struggling to recover vast sums of money stolen by senior officials in the Nicolás Maduro regime through bribery and financial schemes in its state-run oil company.On the other side is the U.S. government, which — as long as Maduro remains in power — refuses to turn over any assets seized from the dozens of de...
Is it time for another stimulus bill? Here are some expert opinions
House Democrats proposed a roughly $3 trillion bill recently to battle the health and economic effects of COVID-19.Some Republican lawmakers, and a top White House economic adviser, have cautioned against another round of federal stimulus spending too soon after the last package — preferring to take a “wait and see” approach.Politics aside, many Americans are wondering if the federal government will be offering more support as they are out of work.Q: Should the federal government wait a while before another stimulus bill?Kelly Cunningham, San Diego Institute for Economic ResearchYES: After imm...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Week Ahead: Settling into a longer recovery
The snap-back economic theory is quickly breaking. Investors will witness a legislative admission in the week ahead that it will take longer for the economy to recover than hoped for just a few weeks ago.In the spasm of government stimulus plans passed in the throes of stay-at-home orders, the goal of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was to keep working Americans on company payrolls even as business came to a sudden stop. There was such demand for the dollars that Congress eventually OK’d a second round of the forgivable loans to companies if they spent most of the money to pay workers fo...
Editorial: A peevish Gov. DeSantis now blames user error for Florida unemployment woes
As if getting laid off isn’t scary enough, as if getting put through the unemployment wringer isn’t humiliating and frustrating enough, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has decided to start blaming the jobless for the state’s failure to pay benefits.In other words, the governor thinks the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of people who still haven’t received unemployment benefits to pay for rent and food have only themselves to blame. User error.Not a state unemployment system that was designed to fail and frustrate workers who find themselves out of a job through no fault of their own. A sy...
Not everyone who gets a stimulus check can spend it. IRS sends payments to the dead
MIAMI — When Judy Eitneier received a $1,200 check from the Internal Revenue Service last month made out to her mother, she was puzzled.“What? Why?” Eitneier said, describing her reaction. “Mother is dead.”In its haste to revive the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS has been sending $1,200 stimulus checks to dead people.The federal tax-collecting agency won’t divulge how many Economic Impact Payments have been mailed in error, nor the amount of money disbursed to the deceased. The IRS has also mailed an untold number of the checks to people who are incarcerated and ineligible fo...