Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Spending Your Rebate CheckThis week, the IRS will begin sending out your $600 economic stimulus checks. The intent of the loan, (oh yes, it is a loan, of your own money, that you will have to re-pay next year, and yes, I know that you didn't ask for the loan, but you're getting it anyway) is for you to spend it wildly, go on a shopping spree, buy some new furniture, take a vacation, or go to a spa. Do something crazy, but whatever you do, don't put it in your savings account, it is meant to stimulate the economy, so get out there and stimulate, spend like an American, damn it! Do your patriotic duty, and do what Americans do best, borrow and spend.
Thinking about our spending as a nation, I wonder how the IRS can afford to lend us our own money, when our government is borrowing from other countries just to keep our own economy afloat. In fact, as our economy weakens, tax revenues, the income that the government spends on all sorts of things like, schools, farm subsidies, transportation, and most of all, the military, the funds that we need to keep our basic infrastructure functioning are disappearing, because we are not earning as much as we used to. The nation is not spending any less, in February, the government budget deficit widened to a record 175.6 billion, while government revenues fell by 12 percent. So not only is the government spending more, it is taking in less. Our Presidential candidates seem to believe that they can promise us health care and better jobs, but I'm thinking that they need to do some basic arithmetic, and tell us the truth.
In addition to the insane spending and record deficits, the Fed has taken on a lot of the bad paper that the financial institutions have accumulated, and are planning tomorrow to lower the interest rates another 25 basis points. If you ask the question, "how much money does the Fed have?", you can't really find an answer anywhere, and they have already bailed out many of these financial institutions, and if they haven't done so directly, Dubai and China have. And yet, the Fed and the Treasury can print as much money as they want, but each time they do, and each time they lower the interest rates, the dollar becomes that much more worthless.
So what should I spend my rebate check on?
Okay, I have some ideas. I'm going to buy five of those big red plastic gas cans, and then I'm going to fill them up and hide them in my garage. that will cost me....$100. Then I'm going to the grocery store, and I'm going to buy $300 dollars worth of dry goods, things like flour and rice, dry beans. that leaves me with $200. I'm really torn between medicine, and alcohol. I can get all of my old prescriptions filled with my medical insurance, so maybe I should just go the the liquor store and spend the rest on some cheap wine, enough to get me through the next year or so of the "Great Recession", and hunker down in my basement until our country has come to its senses and figured out we have squandered the wealth of our nation on tax cuts for the wealthy, and a war that has netted us nothing.
Go out and spend people. Me, I'll be in the basement.
Technorati Tags: economic stimulus national deficit the great depression
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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