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The federal government will spend enough in COVID-19 stimulus to give every American taxpayer $41,000. As COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession produced job loss and public health challenges, the federal government approved massive omnibus packages meant to stimulate the economy. Among these were the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, passed in March 2020; the $2.3 trillion HR 133, passed in December 2020; and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March 2021. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s COVID money tracker shows, the federal government will distribute a total of $5.9 trillion through its legislative efforts alone. If these funds were disbursed among America’s 143.3 million taxpayers, each would have received roughly $41,000. If the funds were instead divided among every member of the population, every American would have received $18,000. However, only a fraction of the spending was earmarked for American citizens. As Brad Polumbo of the Foundation for Economic Education notes: The COVID spending bills have all lost huge sums of money to unrelated carve-outs, politician pet projects, corporate bailouts, fraud, waste, and worse.

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