FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims Every American Could Get $1 Million With The $1.9 Trillion Allocated In The American Rescue Plan

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims that with the $1.9 trillion allocated in the American Rescue Plan Act, the U.S. government could give every American $1 million and still have $1.5 trillion left over.

Verdict: False

Giving every person in America $1 million would require roughly $330 trillion. Even by limiting the number to taxpayers, it would still be over $144 trillion.

Fact Check:

President Joe Biden on March 11 signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The package allocates, among other things, funds to send $1,400 direct payments to many American, according to CBS News.

The viral post appears to reference the American Rescue Plan Act, saying, “1.9 trillion. They could have given every AMERICAN a million dollars and saved 1.5 trillion. Think about that.” That math, however, is incorrect. (RELATED: Does The $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Include A $25 Million Bonus For House Members?)

The U.S. Census Bureau’s population clock puts the U.S. population at about 330 million at the time of publication. Giving each of those 330 million people $1 million would require roughly $330 trillion, according to Check Your Fact’s calculations.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimated in February that there were over 44.9 million foreign born individuals living in the U.S. in 2019, including “naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, persons on certain temporary visas, and unauthorized immigrants.” Of those 44.9 million immigrants, an estimated 23.3 million were naturalized citizens, according to MPI. Excluding the number of non-citizens based on MPI’s estimates, the U.S. government would theoretically still need over $300 trillion to pay each person $1 million.

Check Your Fact also conducted calculations solely considering the number of U.S. taxpayers. The Tax Foundation reported in early February that recently-released IRS federal income tax return data showed there were roughly 144.3 million taxpayers in 2018. To pay that number of taxpayers $1 million each, it would require about $144.3 trillion.

The Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Fiscal Service said in a March 17 press release that they had disbursed “approximately 90 million Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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