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?