Millionaires Will Not Receive $1.7 Million Stimulus Checks, Despite Online Confusion

A widespread rumor that millionaires will receive a massive $1.7 million stimulus check during the coronavirus pandemic has been disproven. However, Americans making over a million dollars annually will reap a huge benefit in tax cuts from the CARES Act and other relief packages. Still, they will not be given any money directly, as those getting the $1,200 economic impact payment will.

A rumor circulating online suggests that millionaires in the United States are getting a larger stimulus check than average Americans are, supposedly totaling $1.7 million. This is false, as explained in a report by the fact-checking service Snopes. The economic impact payments — or "stimulus checks" many people are currently getting are approved by the CARES Act, which dictates that the government send aid to American residents making $99,000 per year or less. Still, the tax cuts approved by the CARES Act could guarantee millionaires a massive payout as well.

The CARES Act stipulated the one-time payment many Americans are currently receiving. For those making $75,000 annually or less, the check is worth $1,200. For ever $100 over that, the check is reduced by $5 — so, a person with an annual income of $75,100 would get $1,195, a person with an annual income of $75,200 would get $1,190, and so on.

Of course, people making a million dollars per year or more are not eligible for this criteria, but there are other aspects of the CARES Act that will benefit them as well. According to Snopes, the bill changes a tax law passed in 2017, allowing millionaires to get back an average of $1.7 million in tax benefits.

The CARES Act was the third bill emergency relief passed by the U.S. Congress after the outbreak of COVID-19. Several lawmakers have noted that the one-time $1,200 payment is not enough for many Americans, and they are working on a follow-up soon. Two congressmen have proposed a plan to pay eligible Americans $2,000 per month for at least six months as they weather this crisis.

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Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Rep. Ro Khanna of California introduced the bill, known as The Emergency Money for the People Act. According to a report by Forbes, it would follow similar criteria to the CARES Act, though it would streamline the process quite a bit. Eligible Americans would get $2,000 for at least six months, or until unemployment levels return to their pre-pandemic status.

The bill is in its early stages, and there is no telling if it could pass even with drastic changes, but lawmakers believe consistent relief payments like this could be the key to maintaining social distancing for long enough to survive this pandemic. Without frequent, widespread testing and contact tracing until there is a vaccine available, there is no safe way to return to public life as it was before, according to medical experts. For the latest information on the coronavirus itself, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.