Stimulus money helpful for some, unnecessary for others in Wisconsin
January 5, 2021
Stimulus checks are arriving in the bank accounts of Americans this week after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion stimulus bill on December 27, 2020. How will Americans use their money? Many Wisconsinites had plans in place for their money before it was even distributed. Others say they don’t need the government assistance and wish it would go to those who are truly in need.
Evansville dairy farmer Aaron Hass and his wife, Brianne, say they’re grateful they don’t need the money like others do. They’ve continued working throughout the pandemic, and have been fortunate to have any farm losses taken care of through the CFAP programs in 2020.
“We feel the need to use this money to fill gaps for others in need,” said Aaron Hass. “So we plan to divide it up into pieces for individuals and organizations near to our hearts that are struggling. Don’t get me wrong – I can definitely find ways to spend it, but we feel this is the best way to help our fellow man.”
Under the new stimulus bill, individual adults with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 a year based on 2019 earnings receive a payment of $600 while heads of households who earn up to $112,500 and a couple (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) that makes up to $150,000 a year are receiving twice that amount. Eligible families with dependent children receive an additional $600 per child.
Jay Kennedy of Brodhead said the stimulus payments come at a great time to ensure everyone, including him, can live to fight another day. This will provide security for many people who need it as the new year begins while leaving a few dollars in their pockets, he said.
“Whether it’s taxes, food, car payments, rent or utilities, it eases the pressure and worries over the holiday season, a season where many end their lives because they feel they have no reason to keep fighting,” said Kennedy.
Several Wisconsin residents feel stimulus payments were unnecessary. Evansville resident Mike Shoemaker said his family doesn’t need the money because they’ve been working throughout the pandemic.
“Sure I’ll take the extra cash and plug it right back into a small local business,” he said. “That’s the purpose of boosting our economy.”
Shane Simplot of Beloit said he would have preferred an option to opt out of the payment but didn’t get one. His payment will only soften the initial blow of having to pay double on social security taxes, he said.
“If anything, I feel this shows the gross incompetence of the government as a whole,” he said.
Taking a broad approach with payments might not have been the best use of government money, according to Brodhead resident Sabrina Meichtry.
“The nature of our work and life here is one of which the pandemic did not change our finances,” she said. “So in all honesty, I’d rather not be getting it; I feel it could be used better by going specifically to those who need it.”
Allen and Bailey Morris of Orfordville are expecting their first child soon so they plan to start an investment portfolio with their stimulus money.
“I will be using mine to invest in stocks, bonds and the speculative market,” said Allen Morris. “If I even get the average return, it will be more than the interest on all my debt accounts.”
Dairy farmers Dennis and Sarah Roe of Marion will use the money they receive for their children to help prepare for the upcoming livestock showing season in which their children participate. The money will also help with clothing purchases for going back to school.
“What we get for the kids will go into a savings account, and I will use it toward expenses for them showing at the fair – fingers crossed there is a fair – and for back-to-school clothes,” said Sarah Roe.