Another Economic Stimulus Check?

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Pramrider

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From what little I've heard about the details of Obama's economic recovery package, it sounds like every taxpayer will receive $500. Has anyone heard whether it will be contingent on adjusted gross income like the last one, with the $500 reducing down to $0 as income level increases over a certain amount? I pretty much missed out on the last one because I had just come off a year where I was receiving severance from my employer, a full time salary from another, plus pension income. As a result, my stimulus check was a whopping $56.

My son also missed the last one because he was still claimed as a dependent on my income. This year he's on his own, so he'll benefit from the next one if and when it comes.

I believe Obama is trying to help jumpstart the economy, partly with this new rebate, but I'm very skeptical the checks sent out will do much more than the last ones did. Maybe a slight uptick and little more. It's certainly not enough toconvince me to rush out and buy (go into debt for) a new car that will take 5 years or more to pay off. Too many people, and more added by the month, are still on too shaky ground to do anything with the money except hang onto it for perceived rockier times ahead, or pay off some of their existing creditors to get them off their back.

What would I do with my check? Dunno, to be honest.:dunno: Probably some will go in the savings account and some in my checking for any *needs* that might come along. It's definitely not going to get blown on stuff I really don't need. My work is based on contracts now, so the more I can sock away the better off I'll be when there's no contract work available which can happen quite unexpectedly.

~Pramrider
 
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Your son still would have gotten a partial check last year for $300. And the tax rebate program from last year is for returns from 07 and 08. If you only qualified for a small amount last year and this year you could get a larger amount, you will recieve the difference between the two.
 

Pramrider

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Thanks for the info, newguy. I'll have to check into that. I've done my own taxes for many years and I know for '07 the tax law was very specific about people who filed but were claimed as a dependent by someone else. They were not eligible for any portion of the rebate for that tax year. I hope he can get something back via his '08 return, plus he'll be eligible for the new rebate. Have to do some additional reading up on this...

~Pramrider
 

chevre

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Eh, I hope not. I mean, I'm not going to lie, I liked getting a check for ~$315 last year. But the whole point was that we were supposed to go blow it on something nice. Well, at the time I didn't have much cash on hand and so it mainly went to paying down a credit card and buying food.

My financial situation this year is significantly improved, however, I still don't see myself going out and indiscriminately blowing it on something. Although, it would be a nice excuse to get a new laptop like I've been wanting for a while :p.

The real problem is that it costs a f*ckton, and really doesn't accomplish much. Like last time.. they sent out letters to everyone who was getting a check just to say it was on the way. Talk about a waste of money! Even just mailing the checks will be quite expensive. And I think the people who need the money most are going to use it for bare essentials like paying credit cards, and for the people who don't need it it'll just be a little extra cash which won't make much difference.

A few hundred clams of our money back is a nice treat, but c'mon, all and all it's still a drop in the bucket.
 
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I filed as a dependent last year, and still recieved the $300 rebate. I dunno, there were special tax laws applying to me though with a lot of my pay from my time on active duty.
 
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I assume those of us still living with parents without jobs will not receive anything?
 

chevre

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If you don't have a job, then why would you receive something? :p. I mean, in that case you didn't pay any income taxes in the first place.
 

bdb2004

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If you are still claimed as a dependent on a parents return, regardless of if you live with them or made money or owe taxes, you will not see a penny of this refund.

Actually, it as far as just having a job, or a tangent to that, actually having enough of an income to owe taxes, you might still be able get money depending on the exact terms of the refund, there has been talk about making it so you can actually get the money even if you qualify for an exemption from any personal income taxes.
 
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Seriously think about this, what would be a good way to stimulate the economy, spend money right? Do you know who spends a shit ton of money? Stupid teenagers that is who. So give us money, and we'll fix this fast as hell, unlike either smart, (Save the money,) or poor, (Use the money to pay for needs,) or the rich (do nothing with the money.)

The chances of a teen blowing the money on stuff is much greater than any adult. This is why the government is fail, they can't think in simple terms. Always over-thinking.
 

IncompleteDude

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I really don't believe sending checks out like this helps anyone. It's not enough to put a dent in your debt, and not much to save. People just blow it on something they want. So yeah, it gives your GDP a little bump, but it has no long term value.

You want to help the economy? Buy the mortgages of the people on the edge of foreclosure, give them an interest rate they can afford, reduce their principal if it's hugely over market value, and let them stay solvent. Then make the banks pay the difference over the next couple decades. Sure some of them scammed the banks, but the banks like loansharks scammed a lot of them too.

I do agree with Obama's make-work projects, because much of America's infrastructure is getting pretty old. Upgrading it will pay dividends eventually, and it'll keep people employed and solvent.
 

Lazy

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I doubt i'm getting this. If I did, this would buy a lot of bambinos lol
 

Peachy

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Trying to jump start the economy by taking a loan from your future self? Sounds like a stupid idea, if you ask me. You're just cheating yourself out of buying stuff in the future, and if people go spending the check on useless junk they may be lacking the money in the future when they need it to pay for daily items (rent, food, clothing...).
And I know how thrilled especially Americans are when it comes to higher taxes to pay off the debt that is required to finance the checks.

Peachy
 
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I would much prefer that the government keep any "stimulus" check, and instead tell me exactly what the hell it is doing with my current money paid into the system.

Example: with the previous bailout package, there is now an air of "we have no clue where it went" about Washington.

Either let me keep all my income and be self-sufficient, OR take lots of it and provide everything in an open fashion. This whole in-between state grates on me, but it is part of a larger philosophical undercurrent in this country (see other "porn bailout" thread).

...if people go spending the check on useless junk they may be lacking the money in the future when they need it to pay for daily items (rent, food, clothing...).
Ah, but then the government will be in a particularly good position to "save" us.

And I know how thrilled especially Americans are when it comes to higher taxes to pay off the debt that is required to finance the checks.
Not yet. When China comes and just starts annexing states in lieu of payment in hard currency, THEN we'll be thrilled.
 
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Ace

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I think this is just a popularity ploy. I got my $600 stimulus check last summer and you know what I went and did with it? Absolutely nothing! For me at least, I pay my taxes at the end of the year, as opposed to most people who have taxes deducted from every paycheck I don't have money taken out of my check for taxes so I pay at the end of the year. My rebate check that I got is going right back to the government, along with a lot of other money.

If the government really wanted me to have more money they should just CUT taxes in the first place, let me keep more of my hard earned money. It is not right that about forty cents out of every dollar I make goes to the government. I know we need things done and it costs money but the government needs to stop spending money like drunken sailors on payday (no offense against sailors or drinking, just using an analogy).

If the government wants to stimulate the economy, then let me keep more of my hard earned money. If I can keep more money, I will likely hire an administrative assistant for my office, that creates a job. I might buy a new car - and I buy american cars, I want my car made here, that's jobs for more americans. If I can keep more of my money, I might buy a house, that puts money in not only another homeowners pocket, but the realtor, the home inspector, the escrow firm and so forth.

Sorry for the rant.

I just have to wonder if they really do go through with the stimulus check, am I going to get another letter saying that I'll be getting the check? Last time around, they sent out a letter prior simply saying that I would be receiving a check. The cost of sending out those letters was north of $40,000,000 - that's right forty million dollars! Talk about a waste of money.
 
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daria7483

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I spent my last economic stimulus check to pay off part of my student loan...the one that I took out a few years back because Congress, under Bush, cut funding for college students from low-income families. I used some sort of online calculator to figure out how much I'd get from Obama tax cuts if he were elected and I think, as a single non-homeowner, it was less than $500. Are these part of the tax cuts for the middle class that he talked about while campaigning or is this an additional thing? Anyway, if I got the $500 I'd probably put it into my homeowning fund.

The trouble with these kinds of things is that individual Americans are in trouble primarily because of too much spending and not enough saving. Giving people who have already spent too much $500 to go play with seems like encouraging irresponsibility to me. On the other hand, it does help the economy, if only temporarily. Here's a question for someone smarter than me: does it make a difference in terms of jump-starting the economy if most people spend their refunds on things like new TVs, groceries, laptops, etc., or if people use it to reduce their debt in the form of paying part of a loan off or paying off part of a credit card?
 

Peachy

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does it make a difference in terms of jump-starting the economy if most people spend their refunds on things like new TVs, groceries, laptops, etc., or if people use it to reduce their debt in the form of paying part of a loan off or paying off part of a credit card?
Yes, it does.

Using your check to pay off old loans is just a swap - you're swapping personal, private debt (your student loans) for public debt. I.e. you haven't worked a single second extra and you have made not a single penny extra with which you could have paid off your loan. So through higher taxes, you (or your kids, grandkids....) will have to pay off the extra $500 in public debt.

Using your check to buy that HDTV set you always wanted (let's assume you did), does actually help the economy. You're creating extra demand, which means extra jobs for producing, relocating (shipping/trucking), managing and maybe even reparing the TV. Of course there's no effect if you're using the money to buy stuff you would have bought anyway, like groceries, electricity etc. In that case you're again just swapping private for public debt.

So..if Obama sends you a check for $500 and you want to do something for your country, spend it on some useless shit that you would have never bought without the extra money. And pray that you'll find the extra time to work off your extra $500 in public debt!

Peachy
 
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daria7483

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Well, gee, Peachy, way to make me feel guilty :)

See...I guess that's what bothers me about this whole stimulus check thing. Maybe I'm too idealistic, but I'd like to see a world where Americans actually save money, focus on paying off debts and don't live beyond their means, instead of spending every penny they make, and more, on the latest trendy electronic gadget and a McMansion that will be foreclosed on within six months if they lose their jobs. That's not to say that I don't own an ipod and a new laptop...but I did pay cash for them and I won't be buying an HDTV until I can pay cash for that too. By the way, aren't most products Americans buy actually made in countries other than the U.S.? So aren't we also stimulating the economy of China when we use our stimulus checks?
 

T00L

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That's not to say that I don't own an ipod and a new laptop...but I did pay cash for them and I won't be buying an HDTV until I can pay cash for that too.
QFT

I pay for everything cash. If I don't have the money for it I don't get it. I don't understand why this is really such a hard concept for people to grasp in America today.
 

MysteriousVisitor

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A good portion of goods made elsewhere are made by American companies that have outsourced because of labor conditions. And the vast majority of worldwide companies that sell goods and services in the United States employ American workers to some degree or another. Heck, even Airbus has a factory in Alabama. To a degree, just about any purchasing involves stimulation of the American economy.

Anyway, if a stimulus is needed, it should not just be free money from the government. If we want to directly stimulate the economy, we should embark on some sort of a make work program that actually does something. It might cost the same as a free money stimulus, but the Government would get something out of it.
 
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