Economy

Officials Privately Say Virus Checks Could Take 5 Months

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The earliest that any Americans will receive payments as part of the $2 trillion aid package recently passed by Congress is April 13th, but millions of other Americans may not receive a payment for months.

According to a memo addressed to congressional Democrats and obtained by NBC News, the Trump regime estimates that it could take up to 20 weeks or nearly 5 months to process every payment.

Americans who have a direct deposit account on file with the federal government will receive payments relatively quickly, but others may not see a check in the mail until nearly fall.

The memo, obtained by NBC News, says that Americans who have their direct deposit information on file will receive their payments in mid-April, "likely" the week of April 13. The document estimates that about 60 million Americans will receive checks at that point.

About three weeks after those deposits go out, the IRS will start issuing paper checks, likely the week of May 4, according to the memo. The office that issues paper checks can process about 5 million checks per week, so it could take 20 weeks – nearly 5 months – to get them all out.

If paper checks aren't mailed until the first week of May, and if it takes five months to process all of them, that would mean the last group of people to see a check won't receive them until September.

Now, if Trump regime officials say this is how long it's going to take, I think we can say with at least some level of confidence that it will actually take longer.

Maybe I'm wrong and the process will take fewer than 20 weeks to complete, but it's not as if the regime has a sterling track record.

Five months is a significant amount of time and may as well be an eternity at a time when millions of Americans will be out of work. It also occurred to me while reading this report that it's possible and maybe even likely that Congress will pass another aid package at some point in the next couple months before the first package is fully processed.

The IRS is operating on a budget that is 20 percent smaller than it was before congressional Republicans spent most of a decade in power imposing austerity. Maybe it would still take nearly 20 weeks to process this number of checks even if Republicans had not cut the budget, or maybe it will take 20 weeks precisely because the budget is significantly smaller.

  • muselet

    Well, at least it’s not something important, like tax cuts to corporations and the top 1%. The peasants will simply have to wait their turn.

    And the IRS is a perfect example of R governance in action:

    1) Demonize a part of government.

    2) Once in power, repeatedly cut the budget of that part of government.

    3) Complain incessantly that said part of government doesn’t work.

    4) Repeat as needed until that part of government really can’t work.

    5) Sell the functions of that part of government to private-sector cronies.

    –alopecia

    • KanaW

      May I post that list on my facebook, with attribution? It’s perfect.

      • muselet

        Sure. It’s not an original thought—I seem to recall something like that circulating ten or fifteen years ago—but Rs haven’t changed much in the past forty years or so. Alas, I expect that comment to be relevant far into the future.

        –alopecia

        • KanaW

          Excellent, thanks.