Nearly three million people have signed a petition calling for monthly $2,000 stimulus checks.
The Change.org petition — started last year by a restaurant owner in Denver — argues that the checks are necessary for Americans to keep their “heads above water.”
The petition reads:
My name is Stephanie, and I am one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis. With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home.
I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis. Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table.
A more recent update to the petition — posted after the December 2020 round of stimulus checks — doubled down on the alleged need for regular payments.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — which was passed in March 2021 — funded enhanced federal unemployment checks through September 2021. By the end of June, the number of jobs available in the United States increased to 10.1 million — the highest number ever observed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the same period, 8.7 million people were unemployed — implying that the number of openings vastly exceeds the number of potential workers.
However, internet archives reveal that over 700,000 people have signed the petition since June 2021 — potentially reflecting Americans’ shifting mentality toward government handouts. Indeed, several polls taken this year indicate that a large majority of Americans support federal stimulus checks.
A survey from Quinnipiac University in January found that 78% of Americans — including 90% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans — approved of the $1,400 checks supported by President Biden. A Morning Consult poll taken in March found similar favorability for the handouts and confirmed that a majority of Republicans supported extending the federal unemployment checks.
Another Morning Consult survey from June showed that roughly one in eight unemployed Americans have refused positions while jobless because they “receive enough money from unemployment insurance without having to work.” Because 14.1 million adults were collecting benefits at the time of the survey, the group reasoned that roughly 1.8 million Americans turned down jobs due to the handouts.