COVID stimulus price tag: $17,000 per person, $69,000 per family

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The combined $6 trillion price tag on the COVID-19 stimulus packages OK’d by Congress, including Wednesday’s $1.9 trillion Biden bill, will cost taxpayers the equivalent of $17,000 each, or $69,000 per family, according to a new analysis.

What’s more, the new package set for House approval on Wednesday sets aside billions of dollars for non-COVID-19 relief and adds to the nearly $1 trillion in unspent money approved in earlier coronavirus bills.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in urging the defeat of the so-called “Christmas tree” package, said on the House floor: “This is the reality of the bill before us today: It showers money on special interests but spends less than 9% on actually defeating the virus. But it gives San Francisco $600 million, essentially wiping out 92% of their budget deficit.”

Critics have also hit the legislation because much of it won’t be spent this year.

The minority staff of the House Budget Committee and Rep. Jason Smith (See FY 2021 Reconciliation) provided Secrets with the highlights of the Senate-passed version spending in the bill unrelated to coronavirus relief, posted below.

Smith, the top Republican on the budget committee, told NPR today, “If this bill was about direct payments to people and putting shots in the arms and vaccines, you would have strong bipartisan support across this Congress and across this country, but less than 9% of the entire spending in this bill actually goes to crushing the virus and helping distribute vaccines and putting shots in arms.”

  • Less than 9% goes to combating COVID-19.
  • Twenty-seven percent (or more than $500 billion) goes to state and local governments.
  • Twenty-one percent (or approximately $400 billion) goes to policies that reduce private-sector employment.
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • $12 billion for foreign aid.

What is spent in this year of the $1.9 trillion?

  • Five percent ($6 billion) of the $130 billion set aside for K-12 schools.
  • Five percent ($250 million) of the $5 billion for Emergency Housing Vouchers.
  • Seventeen percent ($7 billion) of the $39 billion for child care.
  • Twenty-three percent ($11 billion) of the $50 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • None of the $5 billion for homeless assistance.

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