After a spherical of federal stimulus checks granted qualifying U.S. residents cash to assist pay for dwelling bills and enhance the economic system, Americans could also be questioning if a second spherical of cost could possibly be on the way in which as COVID-19 continues to unfold.

On Monday, President Donald Trump instructed a reporter for Scripps’ tv stations, “We will be doing another stimulus package. It’ll be very good. It’ll be very generous.”

The president, nevertheless, didn’t say how a lot the stimulus can be. Instead, he famous that it could possibly be introduced over the following couple of weeks.

The Journal-World spoke to financial specialists and well being and authorities leaders in Lawrence and throughout the United States about attainable financial revitalization efforts equivalent to a second stimulus examine or a journey tax credit score.

Donna Ginther, a professor of economics on the University of Kansas, stated she believes with a second wave of the virus looming, one other spherical of cash is critical.

“There’s lots of economic hardship being experienced right now. It’s affected all sectors of the economy. Unemployment claims are still really high,” stated Ginther, who can be the director of KU’s Institute for Policy & Social Research.

Ginther stated the economic system is not going to see a V-shaped restoration, however relatively one within the form of Nike’s swoosh emblem: a pointy downturn after which a gradual return to regular.

“We’ve tried six weeks of returning to normal and now we’re starting to see the virus coming back again,” she stated. “We are going to need additional government support.”

Possible financial revitalization efforts

A second stimulus bundle has already handed the U.S. House of Representatives, however has stalled within the Senate in latest weeks.

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (the HEROES Act) is a $3 trillion stimulus invoice that features a second stimulus examine of as much as $1,200 for qualifying people and every dependent as much as a most of three. It would lengthen the stimulus cash to 17- and 18-year-olds — who might be eligible as dependents — in addition to faculty college students who’re claimed as dependents on their mother and father’ taxes. American residents who’re married to immigrants with out a Social Security quantity would additionally qualify.

Still, the GOP is cautious of the thought of a second stimulus examine, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the lead White House negotiator on the primary bundle, stated, “We’re going to take our time and make sure that we’re thoughtful. Whatever we do, it will be much more targeted, much more focused on jobs.”

Another possibility can be a journey tax credit score, which Trump mentioned in May at a White House roundtable.

The U.S. Travel Association is looking for an “Explore America” momentary journey tax credit score price 50% of certified journey bills incurred within the United States between the date of enactment and Dec. 31, 2021, as much as a most credit score of $4,000 per family. Expenses have to be over $50 and should embrace meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, leisure, enterprise conferences or occasions and gasoline.

“[The] Explore America tax credit that Americans can use for domestic travel, including visits to restaurants. That’s a big deal,” Trump stated on the White House roundtable.

In addition, Republican Sen. Martha McSally, of Arizona, unveiled a proposal on Monday known as the American Tax Rebate and Incentive Program Act, or the American TRIP Act. It affords a tax credit score of $4,000 per grownup to take a trip 50 miles or extra from dwelling. For {couples}, that tax credit score will increase to $8,000, in addition to $500 for every qualifying baby. The tax credit score within the TRIP Act is on 100% of bills. If handed, it might be retroactive to the beginning of the yr and final till the tip of 2022.

What specialists are saying

Experts and leaders within the fields of economics, authorities and well being have been largely in favor of a second spherical of stimulus checks, however consternation was expressed about how a journey tax credit score may have an effect on the continued COVID-19 well being disaster.

Ginther stated that whereas she believes the federal government ought to supply extra financial assist, a broad-based second stimulus examine isn’t essentially wanted. Rather — ought to there be a second spherical of cash — it might be helpful to focus on it to individuals who have misplaced their jobs both utterly or for an prolonged time period.

Ginther’s prime priorities when it comes to financial revitalization efforts embrace increasing unemployment advantages and growing assist for state and native governments, which Ginther stated are on the forefront of addressing the COVID-19 disaster.

Joe Gentry, a former 15-year economics professor at Alpena Community College in Alpena, Mich., agreed that state bailout {dollars} are wanted, in addition to an extension of unemployment advantages. But Gentry stated folks must be given an incentive to return to work. Receiving larger earnings below unemployment advantages than what folks made of their jobs is not going to create that incentive, he stated.

Gentry stated he would assist a second stimulus examine, noting that “even though we’re showing signs of economic improvement … there are households that are not still able to meet their regular budgets” and small companies are nonetheless “severely” struggling.

But not all leaders and specialists the Journal-World spoke to have been in favor of a second spherical of stimulus checks.

Michael Hough, a Republican state senator for Maryland, doesn’t consider a second spherical of stimulus checks is critical, noting that the United States is already in excessive debt and that including extra wouldn’t be useful.

“A thousand-dollar check doesn’t make up for a $22 trillion economy being shut down for a month or two,” he stated.

The first stimulus checks got out when all the things was shut down, Hough famous, however now that issues are reopening, “We should be adding jobs and money should be coming back into the economy on its own.”

Hough and Gentry each expressed curiosity in a journey tax credit score, noting that it might doubtless be helpful to their native economies in Frederick, Md., and northern Michigan, respectively.

“We depend on tourism here and it is pretty impactful,” Gentry stated. “So I would say, yeah, a $4,000 tax credit would probably benefit us.”

Gentry hopes that if a journey tax credit score materializes, it’s effectively outlined in order that it’s extra targeted on tourism than journey, and that it couldn’t be used for routine actions.

But different specialists feared {that a} journey tax credit score might enhance the variety of COVID-19 circumstances within the nation.

Carrie Brainard, the general public info officer for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in Parkersburg, W. Va., expressed apprehension on the concept of a journey tax credit score at the moment.

“From a health perspective, the ‘Explore America’ travel tax credit would not be a good idea,” Brainard wrote in an e mail.

She famous that the well being division has already seen examples of individuals disregarding warnings for locations with sizzling spots of COVID-19, like Myrtle Beach, S.C., and that the well being division has recognized pockets of outbreaks in a number of counties from individuals who traveled to those areas.

Brainard stated that within the occasion of a second spherical of stimulus checks, “I would hope that they would use it to pay off debt and/or shop locally at the businesses that have been heavily impacted by the shutdown.”

Ginther expressed related anxiousness on the concept of a journey tax credit score in mild of the continued well being disaster. While the journey and tourism trade is being hit onerous, Ginther stated that “health policy is really economic policy.”

“I think the thing that will help the travel industry the most is getting the virus under control,” she added.

Michael Davidson, government director of Explore Lawrence, the journey and tourism company in Douglas County, stated that when it comes to the tourism trade, he’s undecided that both a second stimulus examine or a journey tax credit score can be efficient.

“If I give you an extra $1,200, will that motivate you to travel? Or are you more concerned about your safety?” he requested. “Until we overcome this fear of travel, I don’t know if the stimulus or the tax credit is going to have any big effect.”

Davidson stated that in keeping with a report executed in April, Lawrence at the moment had misplaced $12 million price of enterprise from the cancellation of 21 public occasions resulting from COVID-19. Now that Douglas County has been reopening, Davidson stated the tourism trade is starting to see a return within the leisure market — which he outlined as folks visiting associates or household or going to vacation spot points of interest — and within the youth sports activities sector.

He additionally stated that advertising and marketing efforts will doubtless be shrunk to a 200-mile radius, for whereas Lawrence has “always been a drive destination,” Davidson stated he doesn’t suppose folks might be touring a lot farther than 200 miles.

The largest problem might be to make guests really feel secure once they journey, Davidson stated.

“Will a tax break or a stimulus check help?” he requested. “Not if people aren’t willing to travel.”