Many low-income families forced to spend checks to pay down debt, essentially covering basic needs from past months even as they still struggle to make ends meet

Difficulty Paying for Usual Household Expenses: Percentage of adults living in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. via the U.S. Census Bureau.

New data published today by the Census Household Pulse Survey shows that Americans are using the most recent round of $1,400 stimulus checks on necessities: paying for groceries, bills, and other household necessities. And while well-off households are on a stronger economic footing, low-income families and families of color are still struggling to make ends meet.

Here are key findings of the federal data:

  • Compared to higher-income and white families, more low-income families…


Members of Congress, mayors, organizers, small business owners, and individuals impacted by the pandemic participated in events across the country on Thursday, February 6th as part of a nationwide Day of Action demanding that Congress pass recurring $2,000 checks.

Recent polling shows that more than 80% of the public supports $2,000 checks, including 74% of Republicans. And 60% support recurring monthly payments of $2,000 until the pandemic is over.

The “Make it Monthly” Day of Action, organized by Economic Security Project Action, Change.org, Income Movement, and The People’s Bailout, included events in 12 states; a live, national conversation with Members…


With last week’s successful inauguration, we’ve been thinking about the many reminders that progress comes in fits and starts, but ultimately it prevails — or, in the words of the incredible poet Amanda Gorman: “while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.” The task falls on all of us to push for a brighter tomorrow, and that includes ensuring the popular, bold economic promises of this new administration are kept.

The reality is, our existing safety net just isn’t cutting it for millions reeling from the economic impacts of the pandemic. As we describe in our…


Click here to watch our 2020 Year in Review video

The movement for a more resilient economic future gained steam earlier this month, as Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) received a $15 million donation from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, on top of the $3 million he gifted in July. These funds will give 29 mayors the chance to research, develop and implement guaranteed income programs for their constituents — providing the power of unconditional cash at a time when millions of Americans are struggling to stay financially afloat.

In a press call reported on by several media outlets including The Washington Post, MGI Founder Michael Tubbs said: “Hunger, economic…


Recognizing a need for news coverage dedicated to how the economy and policy affect young people, the Economic Security Project (ESP) and Teen Vogue partnered to provide a one-year reporting fellowship focused on the coronavirus’s economic fallout, along with stories centered at the intersection of economic, racial and gender justice. After a competitive search with more than 250 applicants, we are pleased to announce the selection of Jacqui Germain as the inaugural ESP Fellow at Teen Vogue.

Follow Jacqui Germain on Twitter and Instagram

“Jacqui is a whip-smart, hyper-engaged journalist with close ties to the communities she reports on,” Teen Vogue senior politics editor Allegra Kirkland says…


The COVID crisis has caused some of the most significant and unequal damage to the U.S. economy in modern history, leaving families and businesses alike struggling to get by. Unless policymakers act quickly to respond to the crisis at the scale necessary, we risk the damage to the economy lasting much longer than necessary, particularly for those at the bottom who have been hit the hardest.

Learning from the 2009 stimulus bill and the recent CARES Act, we know that the next stimulus needs to be big, immediate and direct, and lasting until the economy recovers. We urge policymakers to…


Earlier this month, Americans voted at rates unseen in over 100 years, with more than 65% of the electorate making their voices heard. While Americans remain divided in many ways — one piece of polling stands out. 77% of those who voted support another stimulus payment of $1,200, and 61% of voters want regular payments. The case has even been made that the reason the GOP received as much support as it did “can be explained simply by the fact that it was the party in power when the government put a lot of money into the hands of a…


Anti-Monopoly Fund Grantees and Partners Respond to House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Report

Last week marked a pivotal moment in the anti-monopoly movement with the release of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee’s landmark report. It arrives during an economic crisis that has laid bare the rampant inequalities and fragilities standing up a system where wealthy CEOs continue to surpass record profits while millions of low- and middle-income d families struggle to navigate unemployment, evictions, healthcare services during a pandemic, and other hardships.

In a thorough examination of the ledger of anticompetitive harms and the various ways these monopolists exercise outsized market…


Half a year into a pandemic and weeks away from the election, millions of Americans are hanging in financial limbo. Poverty rates have surged since the extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act expired. Unless Congress can overcome partisan gridlock and get people cash, Americans won’t have enough food to eat, won’t be able to pay for housing and will continue to face other serious financial problems.

The Payments for the People Act, proposed by Pennsylvania representatives Madeleine Dean and Matt Cartwright, would send quarterly payments to families. It recognizes that one check is not…


“When we started talking about this, it was frankly all white papers and intellectual debates in the margins of the internet”

Natalie Foster, co-chair of Economic Security Project.

People gather to show their support for the Basic Income March at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Photo by Rick Bowmer/​AP/​Shutterstock

Six months into the global pandemic, and the push for getting regular cash payments to help keep families afloat is gaining steam. Once considered a radical idea, recurring cash payments are now supported by a majority of Americans, members on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and even the leading candidates for President and Vice President.

New national polling released today and conducted by Lake Research Partners found 76% support…

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The Economic Security Project challenges the status quo by catalyzing ideas that build economic power for all Americans.

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