Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stimulating

The government in its infinite wisdom is going to give us $1800 in a couple of weeks. Since we're right in the middle class sweet spot and have two kids, we qualify for the maximum payout.

Last time the Bush administration sent us a check because the country was falling into recession (in 2001 if memory serves), we were incensed at the whole "spend a buck, save America" rhetoric. We gave the whole amount to our church.

But this year, even though I'm still just as cranky about the idea that consumerism is the golden-brick road to our national economic Emerald City, it's less appealing to sign over that check to charity. Noel had a successful year on the freelance front, and freelancers don't have the luxury of having income and Social Security tax withheld from their income -- plus they have to pay both the employer and employee shares. So our liquidity, shall we say, is a bit on the low side after April 15.

$1800 isn't a lot of money. I feel a bit soiled for even treating it with enough significance to think about what we would do with it. More than half of the potential recipients this year plan to save it or pay bills and debts with it -- not exactly the injection of cash into the economy that we were sold on. I imagine that if we don't end up giving the money away, it will almost make up one of our estimated tax payments for 2008. In other words, our choices are to give it away or give it back.

What will you do with your check -- and how do you feel about it?

8 comments:

Eric Grubbs said...

I believe I will receive $600. Wow. That pays my rent (and one other bill) for one month. How I supposed to be stimulated by that?

Paul C. said...

I'm getting $600, plus my regular return. If I put them together I should be able to pay for Toronto. I think there's some irony in using it to stimulate the Canadian economy. But maybe it's just me.

Timothy said...

I'm only getting $300 back, and I already plan on using it for an eye exam and a new pair of glasses.

Jenn said...

I think I'm in the $600 category--and I'll be paying off the last little bit of my student loan I have floating out there. That'll leave me a little bit,which I'm now considering donating too, since I like that idea of protesting the stupidity of encouraging consumerism by donating the money they give. I'm sure my local NPR station would like it, or perhaps Heifer Project...

Adam Villani said...

Heh... we're going to Toronto next week, and we too have joked about how we're using our stimulus money in Canada.

Although truthfully, we would have gone to Canada anyway. Our money all goes into our "general fund" as it were. Probably a more accurate description of what happens to "extra" money we get is that it will go into the pot for a down payment on the house --- which means it's not going to be stimulating anything for another year or so.

doafy said...

We're getting $1200. Lance and I don't actually buy a lot of "stuff," (Except me with yarn recently.) but I think we'll be spending most of ours on services. Lance is getting two crowns, I'll be getting my legs professionally waxed (luxury!), and we're renewing our Disneyland passes.

I object to the checks on principle, but my brokeness (is that a word?) is excited.

I'm less enthused by the $800 we got back from the state of California. Take it back and make a job opening for me, bitches!

Doc Thelma said...

We're taking the family to the Netherlands this year (I have a confeence in Groningen) so count us as amongst those who will be converting it to Euros and spending it overseas.

the secret knitter said...

It's going toward what remains of my college loans. I'm really looking forward to having that paid off. Now why isn't my "check" here already?!