RTOD 18MAY2008: Stimulated?

Random Thought of the Day 18MAY2008: Stimulated?

REPRINT NOTE:  Obviously, this is about the stimulus checks sent out last year.

I’m writing today in regards to a thing that is sweeping the nation right now.  The Economic Stimulus Checks!

I got mine Friday.  It got to me on time, which made me happy.  People waiting for their checks were crashing servers waiting for it!  People were hitting small bank online servers so much that they couldn’t handle it and actually crashed out! 

So, what is this “Economic Stimulus Check?”  Well, in a way, it is a pro-active refund check given to you early so you can spend it and help our “sagging” economy.  Sales in retail stores are down from last year, new auto sales are down, homes are foreclosing all over the place, cars are being reposessed left and right, all things are apparently showing that life in America is going to Hell in a handbasket.  This check is supposed to give every taxpayer an extra $600 apiece to help boost sales. 

Well, because of my tax return, I got a decent sum of cash.  Like most Americans who get “free money,” the initial impulse is SPEND!  With the money I have, I can get a 42″ 1080p flat panel LCD screen and make my Halo 3 that much sweeter!  Doesn’t matter that I have credit cards or bills, I can have fun, right!?  Right?

Oh no…  I thought about it.   Credit card bills.  Utility bills.  Motorcycle insurance and loan payments.  Hostpital and doctor visit bills.  The fact that this is reported in our 2008 taxes…That huge mound of paperwork is piling up, and is showing no signs of stoping soon…

So, now where does the money go?  Well, your investors will say “Invest in Stocks, Bonds, Oil, anything that looks good.”  Debt management will say, “Put the money on the highest interest rate bill first, especially credit cards, so your money pays itself working for you to reduce debt.”  Doctors will say “Pay me now.”  That little, self-serving kid in all of us will say “GET WHAT I WANT!!!!”  The vacationist in us will say, “Get away for the weekend!”  That’s a lot of answers.

In reality, the answer depends on who you are, and where you stand financially.  See, a lot of your political talking heads will say that this is to help the middle-class, and help boost the economy.  What they don’t say is that they feel the middle-class is between $50-$200K.  I AM NOT MIDDLE CLASS!  My wife and I don’t clear $50K together!  So, does that make us lower-class?  I guess so.  Means that this was not really aimed at me.  People in this so-called middle-class will probably use it to splurge on that thing they want.  People in the lower-class will probably spend it on bills.  Upper-class will spend it on investments.  None of these things are particularly wrong, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t do it. 

Smart people will spend enough to clear out a few low-balance credit cards, and invest the rest.  If you have the money to really blow that check, feel free.  I know I don’t, so I doubt that I will.  I know that my credit cards are getting out of hand, and they need to be handled, though.  Hmm…  Guess the broke people do kinda need this, huh?

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