30 January 2008

Decided: The Economic Stimulus Plan Is Dumb

I like money and I have no problems accepting free money from the government. I will not hesitate to deposit my rebate check when it comes. I've even planned how I am going to spend it. But I don't think it's a good idea. And I shake my head at people who do.
The idea is that the government will give us all money. We will then use that money to go shopping, creating a demand that will keep manufacturers manufacturing. It's a desperate view of reality.

Most people (Jesse excluded) have bills.Millions of people have defaulted on their mortgages and are facing foreclosure. There are people with children who are in danger of being homeless. It sounds dramatic but everyday we in the newsroom hear the stories that prove it's real.

Those people are not going to the mall. They are going to pay off anything outstanding and use the rest to buy groceries. The fact is: we're in a recession and the stimulus plan is too little too late.

Whenever I talk to my parents or friends in other parts of the country, I ask them how much they're paying for milk and orange juice. The answers are creative. And they've shown me that disaster cannot be averted. A recession is here. And $140 billion of borrowed money is not going to help that. I think it will help people, by giving them extra money for bills. I do not think it'll help the economy, by sending people shopping. It's a planning oversight by the federal government. Unless I'm thinking too highly of the American people. But my way just seems logical.

The federal reserve cut the interest rate today to just three percent. That means (for certain loans) any payments made will go further, as they will not be spent on interest. Sending tax returns and rebate checks to credit balances is the most fiscally responsible thing to do. Good for Americans, yet bad for America at the same time.

Yet the United States will save some though. This afternoon Nevada Senator John Ensign stopped illegal immigrants from getting rebate checks. This morning I was audibly appalled (read: fired up) that rebate checks were even an option for illegals. It was a loophole that closed this afternoon, thanks to Senator Ensign. He introduced an amendment to stop it, and it was incorporated. Ensign said "It rewards illegal behavior." I agree. It's a statement I wish I heard more, namely as a reason illegals are denied services. But that's another rant for another day. Today, it's about the economy.

Rebate checks will help people, but they will not help the economy. I say we all grab our checks and hold on tight, as we plunge a little deeper.