The US government has spent about $4 trillion to help the economy recover from the pandemic. Another $2 trillion is yet to be disbursed. How has this money helped Americans so far?

However, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the stimulus is small businesses. They received $1 trillion in loans and grants. These programs helped them pay their staff and survive the lockdowns. Some programs are ongoing, such as the restaurant and theater grants1.

Another significant stimulus component is the direct payments to individuals and families. The government sent $804 billion in three rounds of checks. These checks boosted consumer spending and helped people pay their bills and buy groceries. The latest round also included an expanded child tax credit, which will send monthly payments to families on July 1.

The stimulus also enhanced unemployment benefits, adding $300 per week to regular state benefits. This helped millions of jobless workers who lost their income due to the pandemic. The extra benefits expire in September unless some states end them earlier.

Other areas that received stimulus money include state and local governments, health care, education, transportation, housing, and fighting climate change. These funds support public services, infrastructure, research, and innovation.

Some have criticized stimulus spending as too much or wasteful. They argue that it could cause inflation, debt, or dependency. Others say that more is needed or targeted more. They point out that many still struggle with poverty, hunger, or eviction.

The impact of the stimulus on the economy and society is still being evaluated. Some experts say it has helped prevent a deeper recession and reduce inequality. Others say that it has created distortions and inefficiencies in the market. The debate will likely continue as more data becomes available.