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Rumors and conjecture about the possibility of a second wave of stimulus checks have been circulating on the internet for months, and now a panel of 127 economists -- including seven from Michigan -- is calling for a second round of $1,200 checks for Americans, saying failure to do so could have a negative impact on the economy for years to come.

"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,” the letter reads.

The panel includes Sheldon Danziger, Margaret Levenstein, Samuel Stolper, Thomas Weisskopf, and Warren Whatley from the University of Michigan as well as Tim Bartik of the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and  Emily Hoffman of Western Michigan University.

As Michigan enters the second week of its three-week pause in order to stem the spread of coronavirus, many other states are implementing policies that are having a negative impact on millions of Americans' ability to earn an income.

"At least half of families have been impacted, with low-wage earners, women, and Black workers hit hardest," the letter states. "Recurring direct payments will help families meet basic needs, boost state and local economies, and speed the recovery, and should be paired with other valuable programs like unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments, stronger SNAP benefits, robust child care funding and more."

The panel acknowledged that extending unemployment benefits for Americans has been essential during the economic crisis, but noted that cash reaches millions who may not qualify for unemployment benefits.

Read the full contents of the letter here.


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