Congress is rushing headlong toward passage of a cynical, election-year tax rebate for Joe and Jane America, ostensibly to salvage a sinking economy. The idea is that we’ll all run out and spend our rebates and thus achieve the desired “stimulus.”
Not gonna happen, my friends. If our family gets a rebate, we’ll be sinking it into paying down debt, not engaging in more conspicuous consumption.
It sounds like plenty of folks are thinking the same way, too. Here are some quotes from people interviewed by The Washington Post:
— “I would pay down what’s left on the credit card from Christmas and see what is left on the college bill. With all the brainpower in D.C., they can’t come up with a better stimulus idea?”
— “I would save it. It will not stimulate the economy. It’s the dumbest idea I have heard. They need to feed the money to businesses. Not to individuals, because individuals will just save. People, generally when times are tough, they will save their money.”
— “It’s like trying to put a band-aid on a gunshot wound. There is nothing carrying the economy.”
— “Taxes gone up. Groceries gone up. No raise. You have your bills. You can barely cope. Three-hundred dollars — how long can that last? That can’t even buy groceries.” Plus this similar comment: “How quickly can you blow $300? That wouldn’t last two weeks in gas money in my truck.”
— “It’s a rip-off. This is all a shadow and a dream. They give you the illusion you are getting something, but you are losing something.”