By Jason DeParle, The New York Times, June 2, 2021
Julesa Webb resumed an old habit: serving her children three meals a day. Corrine Young paid the water bill and stopped bathing at her neighbor’s apartment. Chenetta Ray cried, thanked Jesus and rushed to spend the money on a medical test to treat her cancer.
In offering most Americans two more rounds of stimulus checks in the past six months, totaling $2,000 a person, the federal government effectively conducted a huge experiment in safety net policy. Supporters said a quick, broad outpouring of cash would ease the economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Skeptics called the policy wasteful and expensive.
The aid followed an earlier round of stimulus checks, sent a year ago, and the results are being scrutinized for lessons on how to help the needy in less extraordinary times.