Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The government is giving out "free money." "Everyone" is getting $600.

So...what are you gonna do with yours? Remember: it's supposed to stimulate the economy, so no choosing something lame like paying off debt, paying bills, getting rid of your college loans, or saving for your kids' futures.

So, the government is giving out free money, eh? Well, not exactly.
The government is acquiring this money by taking out a loan from other governments. And while we'll all be happy to accept "free" money, keep in mind this really would be the government taking out a loan from foreign governments, probably China, in your name, printing $150,000,000,000, and giving you that money in the hopes that you go buy American-made stuff. If your spending options are Nintendos, food, or weed, the government would prefer you spend it on weed. If food were a priority, they'd issue this money through the Food Stamp program. In essence, we are taking a loan out from China so we can give ourselves money so we can spend money on goods that, in the macroeconomic human behavior, come from China. So basically - getting money from China to buy more stuff from China using that same money.

Also keep in mind that printing $150,000,000,000 makes all the rest of the money in our economy worth less, likely increasing inflation and worsening the problem. HUGE kudos to those in charge for the consistency, at the very least....

Another thing to keep in mind: this is NOT the government actually giving you money. This is, indeed, already your money. It is simply your tax dollars that you already paid being returned to you, but with no spending cuts anywhere in Washington to allot for this money coming back. To do this, the government has to grow the debt by BILLIONS more, putting us further in debt. I am not necessarily against tax rebates or my own money coming back to me, but the government did not think through how to fund this project. In other words, you [and your next generation] will get to pay back the debt on your 300-800 bucks with interest and will have to do so with a dollar that is weaker in the world market every day.

So, everyone is getting $600, eh? Well, not exactly.
The bill considers Adjusted Gross Income for 2007.

If you earned less than $3,000 [some have said $5,000, and I can find no consensus], you get nothing.
If you earned $3,000 but paid no taxes, you'd get $300.
If you earned $3,000 and paid taxes, you'd get $600.
If you earned between $75,000 and $87,000, the benefit drops by 5% for each $1,000 of earnings.
If you earned more than $87,000, you get nothing.
If you have a child, you get an extra $300 each.

If you filed as a couple, the maximum amounts are double, as is your handout. Your credit per kid is still the same, though. (The Bush administration favoring single-parent households? C'mon.)

And, after all that, it still depends on the Senate passing the same measure before it's a done deal.

There are all kinds of blogs and rantings about this on the internet right now. Read them and do some research. If you really want to help the economy stay out of even more debt [which I do not see happening, anyway], then actually use that money for what it was intended: to put back into the AMERICAN economy. Of course, if you want to be able to stop bitching about the state of our economy, you should be doing that anyway.