While I've been actively trying to avoid rants of the political nature this year, I had to finally put in my 2 cents about this "economic stimulus plan".
First of all, I don't want or need a tax rebate. I didn't ask for it and I'm not in dire financial straits. Secondly, while everybody and their mother is getting a government handout, the President has the audacity to propose a $3 trillion budget that freezes vitally needed domestic programs, while increasing defense spending to their highest levels since the cold war - and all to support a war that clearly is unwinnable in the long run. (Yes, the violence is down but what exactly has been solved other than suppressing attacks?)
Let's face it, $600 or even $1200 for a couple really doesn't add up to much in most parts of the country anymore. If you're lucky it's one month of rent or one mortgage payment, or a few months of health insurance - although that's nice and all, it's not like it's going to save anyone from financial ruin. At best it's a stop-gap that postpones the inevitable.
However, I'm not stupid. I understand exactly why the government is giving me and others like me $$$: they want me to head out to the store to buy a flat-screen TVs because the US economy is driven 70% by consumer spending.
You know what, though? Flat screens are lovely but education, healthcare, roads, public transportation, and public services for me and my unborn kid(s) is infinitely more important than whether I can see "House" in High-Def.
I feel like we're squandering the future of generations to come for short-term fiscal band-aids and instant gratification spending and it pisses me off.
There are people out there who desperately need government assistance for one reason or another and for them this is all a 1-2 punch: Give people who don't necessarily need it a fat check so they can buy discrentionary items, send the rest of our money across the other side of the world to secure the oil and support dictators (in the meantime building a larger army of America-haters), and freeze (essentially cutting when you take into account inflation) domestic programs that help people at home.
It's short-sighted, heartless and just plain stupid.
I don't suppose I'll get much of a tax rebate because of the income restrictions but whatever I do get I plan to donate to a charity or non-profit. I have to imagine that's more needed than that flat-screen TV that will keep Best Buy's profits up. If you don't need your tax rebate I encourage you to do the same.
Aparently I'm not the only one who thinks this "stimulous" package is a dumb idea. The Sacramento Business Journal posted an online poll this week and here are the results:
What do you think of the economic stimulus plan?
It's not enough 25%
It's too much 25%
It sends money to the wrong places; if the payments were concentrating on those with low income and in unemployment benefits, the cash would go back into the economy faster. 50%
What will do with your tax refund? Vote in my poll to the right.