Monday, January 28, 2008

A Timely Review of Lessons Past

Recently Chili posted an informative snippet from Aaron Sorkin's imagining of Washington, DC.

I am now reminded that I have a decision to make when I get that tax "rebate" check in the mail. I can spend it on something shiny, the way the government wants me to, and "stimulate the economy." (I'm not 100% sure how that works and that's OK. I don't have to understand it to spend it.)

Or I can pay my credit card bill or my cable bill or put the money in savings until it's time for me to pay it back to the government next year.

I'm like the Scarecrow. I'm leaning both ways.


  1. I'm thinking mine goes in my IRA.

  2. Anonymous2:11 PM

    I discussed this with Auntie Teacher the other day. She says it is our "patriotic duty" to spend it. I argued that this is a band-aid for the problem at hand. I said I was going to invest it to stick it to the man. She stated that when the economy tanks more, more jobs will go over seas and then we will really be screwed. She kind of said it in a way that made me feel like when more people lose their jobs, it will be my fault. Sigh. I don't know what to do.

  3. Its a band aide fix if nobody spends it. Or if they spend it on foreign imports.

    Consumer confidence means exactly didly squat if the rest of the world goes spiraling into a recession.

  4. Anonymous3:42 PM

    It is never anyone's patriotic duty to spend money. I know this country's religion is consumerism, but that doesn't mean it's a healthy religion. Do what you want or need with the money - there are so many things wrong with the economy in this country and the world - any person losing their job is the result of a multitude of interconnecting causes, none of which will be fixed by something as simple as a tax rebate. And this is coming from someone who was laid off for about 2 months in 2007, and who expects to get laid off again in a month or so.

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  6. I was listening to an NPR discussion about this the other day when someone said something to the effect of "most people who choose to spend their tax rebates will probably spend them on something made outside of the USA anyway." I just don't see it as a fix at all.

    I respectfully disagree with Auntie Teacher and the "patriotic duty" line. We depend (wrongly, I think, but whatever) on our government to support and encourage our economy, and their creating and environment where it's easier for us to get our goods and services from overseas than it is to make it ourselves and then expecting us to spend our way out if it is just ass-backwards to me.

    The Chili family rebate will be invested until we use it to continue the improvements on our home. We're thinking long-term, and I'd much rather see that money go into the value of our house than spend it on a big screen t.v. made in China.