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Panem et circenses

As many of my American friends will have heard by now, the Senate has just agreed to send out checks for several hundred dollars to each of 117 million families. They are calling this an "economic stimulus package."

Now, I love getting checks in the mail at least as much as the next person, and it's not like I can't use the money. I've got a house to feed. And a gas tank. But...



We're eleventy-four gaskillion dollars in debt over this stupid war. The entire economy is founded on bad credit. We're living, collectively, like an addict charging his drugs on his credit card, and paying that credit card with another credit card. The dollar is an international joke.

So, handing out billions of dollars in dribs and drabs that will almost certainly be spent on foreign-made goods is a sound idea how, exactly?

And let's not forget the tax rebate of 2002. Remember that one? Three hundred bucks to every taxpayer, so we could follow W's post-9/11 advice and "go shopping" to assuage our trauma. 'Member that? And how Turbotax neatly reduced your refund by three hundred bucks the next year?

So this isn't a "gift" and it's not a "rebate." It's an advance. And not only will it likely be deducted from any refund you may have coming next year, but you will pay income tax on it for 2008.

Ain't I just a killjoy.

So, a little poll.

Poll #1126855 Economic stimulus

Do you think you'll be getting one of the "rebate" checks?

Yes
4(44.4%)
No
3(33.3%)
Not sure
2(22.2%)

What will you do with the money?

Pay a bill
1(12.5%)
Buy something cool
0(0.0%)
Buy necessaries
1(12.5%)
Donate it to charity
0(0.0%)
Put it in savings
0(0.0%)
Invest it (retirement, stock market)
1(12.5%)
Fritter it away, probably
2(25.0%)

This tax refund is

bogus
3(33.3%)
manna from heaven
0(0.0%)
a valid economic stimulus
0(0.0%)
likely to happen right before the elections
1(11.1%)
something else I'll put in the comments
0(0.0%)

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
executrix
Jan. 24th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
Well, of COURSE they're fucking insane. The government is like a factory second Tickle Me Elmo, it doesn't matter why you pulled the string, it's always going to say "Tax Cut! Tax Cut!"
emeraldsedai
Jan. 25th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. That sums it up very nicely.
silk_knickers
Jan. 24th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
As soon as I heard the first mutterings about this "rebate," my blood started to boil. I very much remember the $300 rebate the first time around -- I was in grad school at the time, and that was a significant amount of money then. But I too remember my taxes being $300 higher the following year, and being pissed off about it. Fool me once, shame on... oh, crap, I don't even remember how that's supposed to go any more.

So, yeah, I'll be using it to pay down some of my own personal debt load (possibly even to pay my estimated quarterly taxes for '08; there's a thought) but they sure aren't fooling me twice.

Frankly, it's a bit insulting to the intelligence.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 25th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
I did some reading, and it seems that the only way this type of "rebate" can actually be an economic stimulus in the present economy is if it is distributed exclusively to the very poor, who must use it to purchase basics.

If we use it to pay down debt, purchase foreign goods, or save, it actually has a negative effect. It's a huge boondoggle. I'm glad to hear you won't get fooled again. :)
avventura1234
Jan. 25th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Tax Boondoggle
What kind of idiot would think that adding more debt to our already unimaginable debt (that my children's children will be paying for!) would solve ANYTHING!!?? When I was very little, I used to think that 'they' could just PRINT more money when we ran out. I guess lots of people (particularly those purportedly running this great nation [into the ground]) still think so. So...I ask myself - should I rip up the check? Simply not cash it? It's not an easy question when I'm struggling to support my family. IF I even GET a check (and chances are I won't), of course I'll use it. Probably to fill my tank! That is, if I get the full $300. Cause that's about how much it costs these days. This is like fucking Reaganomics and the 'trickle-down effect. JFC! who are we kidding? Whose economy are we supporting? Big oil! Oh shit! don't get me started!
emeraldsedai
Jan. 25th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
Re: Tax Boondoggle
Well, the sad thing is, whether you rip it up or not (assuming, as you say, that you're eligible for the "rebate" in the first place), you will still be charged for it in increased taxes or automatically reduced refund when you file your 2008 taxes.

They're spending billions now to buy votes, and when they charge it back to us, that money will NOT go to programs that benefit us, it will go to Blackwater.

So by all means, spend it. I'm going to. There's no danger of their buying your vote or mine.
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Jan. 25th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
That term--"leader of the free world"--seems a little outdated these days, doesn't it? He doesn't lead, we're not PART of the "free world" so much anymore, and with our impending economic collapse, we're going to fall into another outdated category: "third world country."

But dang. I'll have my $600 check to spend on a new iPod, so all is well.
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Jan. 25th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Hah! Not if I plan on flying anywhere, ever, for the rest of my life.

Like I said, not all that free.
llaras
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
I'm not really sure sure what I will get...

Did they say when these will be sent out?
emeraldsedai
Jan. 26th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
I've heard dates mentioned in the late-summer/early-fall time frame, I think. Just in time to buy your vote.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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