Elisabeth Buchwald
Elisabeth Buchwald
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7 things you really shouldn’t be buying with that $1,400 stimulus check

7 things you really shouldn’t be buying with that $1,400 stimulus check

Stimulus checks are making their way into Americans’ bank accounts and mailboxes. Many Americans will put the money towards essential expenses such as food, rent/mortgage payments and utilities — but some Americans who already have those expenses covered might consider putting some of their stimulus money towards Bitcoin, a new car, vacations or new clothes.Americans have complete freedom to decide how they spend their stimulus checks, but consumer advocates advise caution on some tempting purchases. Bitcoin and meme-stocks Some $40 billion in stimulus money is estimated to go toward...

March 22, 2021
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$15 minimum wage won’t make it into Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package — but lawmakers have other options

$15 minimum wage won’t make it into Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package — but lawmakers have other options

Democratic lawmakers pushing to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour were elated when President Joe Biden included it in his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal. They hoped the urgency to pass a third COVID-19 relief package would fast-track a decades-long standstill on raising the minimum wage. But that may have been wishful thinking: Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Thursday ruled against passing minimum-wage legislation through the budget-reconciliation process, a Senate Democratic aide confirmed late Thursday.Read: Since Democrats and Republicans are split 50-50 in...

February 26, 2021
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No matter what Congress does, 12 million jobless Americans will temporarily lose unemployment benefits

No matter what Congress does, 12 million jobless Americans will temporarily lose unemployment benefits

The clock is ticking on Capitol Hill as discussions between Republicans and Democratic lawmakers regarding a second stimulus package are likely to stretch into the weekend. But no matter what actions they take, some will see a lapse in their unemployment benefits soon. These Americans include gig workers, independent contractors and self-employed workers, as well as jobless Americans who will exhaust the maximum number of weeks that an individual can receive jobless benefits in their state. In pre-pandemic times, gig workers, freelancers and self-employed workers were ineligible for...

December 18, 2020
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Joe Biden wants a $15 minimum wage — here’s what’s standing in his way

Joe Biden wants a $15 minimum wage — here’s what’s standing in his way

Florida, a state which President-elect Joe Biden did not win, voted in favor of achieving one of his campaign promises to raise its state minimum wage to $15 an hour from $8.56 by 2026. But when it comes to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Biden is likely to encounter more hurdles. Even before the pandemic, in Biden’s first...Florida, a state which President-elect Joe Biden did not win, of achieving one of his campaign promises to raise its state minimum wage to $15 an hour from $8.56 by 2026. But when it comes to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Biden is...

November 10, 2020
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‘We need to do another stimulus package’: Former Obama economist tells MarketWatch what advice she would give Joe Biden

‘We need to do another stimulus package’: Former Obama economist tells MarketWatch what advice she would give Joe Biden

Without a Senate majority, President-elect Joe Biden will almost immediately have his hands tied in making key decisions about the lives of Americans when he moves into the White House in January. But Biden, like all other U.S. presidents, won’t be making those decisions alone. He’ll have a team of infectious disease experts led by Drs. David Kessler and Vivek Murthy on his , which he announced on Nov. 9. The U.S. recorded 1 million new coronavirus cases in the past 6 days, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections to 11 million. Among other members of his cabinet, he’ll also have a...

November 16, 2020
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Joe Biden wants a $15 minimum wage — here’s what’s standing in his way

Joe Biden wants a $15 minimum wage — here’s what’s standing in his way

Florida, a state which President-elect Joe Biden did not win, of achieving one of his campaign promises to raise its state minimum wage to $15 an hour from $8.56 by 2026. But when it comes to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Biden is likely to encounter more hurdles.Even before the pandemic, in Biden’s, he promised to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour if elected president. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, which comes out to roughly $15,000 a year for someone working 40 hours a week. Like Flordia, California, Connecticut, Illinois,...

November 10, 2020
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Democrats are pushing for another round of stimulus checks and $600 in weekly unemployment benefits

Democrats are pushing for another round of stimulus checks and $600 in weekly unemployment benefits

House Democrats are making another push to provide a fresh round of federally-funded unemployment benefits to replace the $600-a-week benefit that expired in July. On Monday, Democrats unveiled a scaled-down version of the HEROES Act, their proposed stimulus package that in May. Originally the package had a $3 trillion price tag. The revised version would cost $2.2 trillion.It calls for extending the $600 weekly benefit through Jan. 2021 and a second round of $1,200 direct payments to households, both of which were included in the prior version of the HEROES Act, and were part of the . The...

September 30, 2020
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45 states have been approved to offer $300 extra in unemployment benefits — only 6 have started to distribute it

45 states have been approved to offer $300 extra in unemployment benefits — only 6 have started to distribute it

Unemployed people in Arizona were the first Americans to start receiving an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits Aug. 17 under an executive order issued by President Donald Trump, and since then, 44 other states have been approved to hand out the money — but only six are doing so. Laid-off workers shouldn’t get too used to the extra cash: it .The called for a “Lost Wages Assistance” program to distribute an additional $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits on top of the state benefits that unemployed people typically receive. The source of that extra $300 is a $44 billion fund...

September 5, 2020
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The extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits expired — but gig workers and self-employed Americans still qualify for benefits

The extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits expired — but gig workers and self-employed Americans still qualify for benefits

For the first time during the pandemic, , but there are likely many more Americans who qualify for unemployment benefits who didn’t apply.When the $2 trillion CARES Act passed in March, self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers and other nontraditional workers became eligible for unemployment benefits. Even though the federally-funded $600 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits, which was also part of the CARES Act, expired on July 31, these types of workers can still collect state-level unemployment benefits through the end of the year.‘There is definitely a chance that the...

August 14, 2020
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The push for universal basic income is gaining momentum amid the pandemic

The push for universal basic income is gaining momentum amid the pandemic

Amid a pandemic that has killed more than 649,000 worldwide, health experts are urging people to stay home and/or limit travel and maintain social distancing. But for many people, doing so means jeopardizing their income.To that end, groups advocating payments to help people make ends meet and provide support to improve their long-term economic health say the COVID-19 pandemic has increased momentum.“People have a clear sense of why people are on the brink due to a situation that’s not anyone’s fault,” said Ioana Marinescu, a University of Pennsylvania economics professor who has studied...

July 27, 2020
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