Political Blogs, News & Views

« | »

It’s The Economy, Stupid

Will we address it with patriotism or greed?

The economy stupid

I consider myself to be a patriotic American. And I’m going to optimistically assume that the majority of my fellow Americans who share in supporting some form of rebate initiative for stimulating our slipping economy are also patriotic Americans.

I don’t see any other way to view it. Our country is in financial trouble. There’s little disagreement about that. And most of the so-called experts agree that increasing “consumer spending” is the fastest, cheapest and most sure way to head off a sliding national economy.

Understanding that this isn’t an issue of my finances versus my neighbor’s, and how each of us approach spending–but rather an issue of national concern with serious and lasting effects on all of us (and being a patriotic American) I want to do my part. I want to stand in unity with my fellow Americans and support what’s right for our country.

So, what is that? What is the right approach to take? Already politicians and blow-hards (I know the two aren’t always mutually exclusive) are debating and wrangling over where to direct the money from any rebates.

Can they be serious? I mean, seriously… I know that economics can be convoluting and over most folk’s heads at times, but this is pretty simple math from where I stand–alone and waiting for that patriotic unity I want to be a part of on this.

One plus one does still equal two, right? So if we put the money into the hands of those most likely to spend it, that will maximize the impact of the plan on increasing consumer spending which the so-called experts all say will curb the slipping economy.

Where’s the room for debate at? We give the money to those most in need of money to spend, then they’ll spend it and stimulate the economy for us all.

Come on, it isn’t about protecting what’s mine or yours. It can’t be about personal greeds. Our nation is in trouble! Let’s do the patriotic and most logical thing that everyone says can be done to fix it, put the money into the hands of those most likely to spend it right away.

Honestly, I consider myself to be middle-class, but do you know what I’d do with a government rebate check right now? I’d put it away for the next 7 years. Because my life is focused on early retirement in 7 years, complete with a nice little 24 foot glass bottomed houseboat, so my rebate would be added to the boat fund.

I’m not rich, and nowhere close to wealthy, but I have a nice life and don’t want for much that I don’t already have. So, giving me–or others like me–the rebate money doesn’t just seem silly, it seems down right stupid.

However, in the neighborhood next to mine there’s plenty of folks who aren’t as comfortable as I am, and I bet almost every single one of them would run (few of them own vehicles) with their rebate check straight to the local strip-mall. They’d buy stuff. Maybe clothes, cleaning products, maybe even a 80’s Pinto so they could ride on their next trip to the strip-mall.

I know the idea of sending money out to people who aren’t earning enough to pay into the tax system goes against the grain for some folks. But it shouldn’t be about the money or the people receiving it, it should be about doing what’s in the best interest of our country during this troubled time. You know, like sacrificing a little bit on your political dogma in the name of patriotism.

And this isn’t just an anti-right ranting. Even Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama has put forward an idea that would only include rebates for people who pay into Social Security. Sure, that would include more of the lower class who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes because they still pay into Social Security–but it would also still exclude many Americans who are in need of assistance and would be most likely to quickly spend the money over folks at the other end of the financial spectrum.

So, kudos to Senator Obama for finally putting something out there with details I could read, and “nice try” on riding the fence of middle-ground; but it’s still no better of an approach than just handing the money to corporate CEO’s only would be.

Maybe I’m all wrong here, but I suspect folks like me have slowed their spending not because we don’t have any disposable income left… but rather because there’s a genuine concern we may not have it tomorrow.

But giving rebate money to us isn’t going to stimulate the economy, because we’re still going to have that concern over the future and will be more likely to bank the rebate dollars into our safety nets.

You want to alleviate our concerns? Then stir up the economy. How to do that is easy, you’re already talking about it, you just need to guide the money to the most logical place. The hands of those most in need and most likely to spend it right away.

As that consumer spending rises the economy will begin to look better, that will begin to rest our concerns over the immediate future, which will encourage us to begin spending a little more again… which will further stimulate the economy… see how simple it all really is?

Technorati Tags: economy, stimulus plan

Related Writings

Posted by Scott Bannon on January 22, 2008.

Tags: ,


4 Responses

  1. Scott, you haven’t posted anything in a while. Glad you’re back.

    I would disagree that its fair to give refunds to people who never paid in the first place.

    I’m not being ‘greedy’, just honest. The idea of refunding MY money to someone else sounds like theft to me.

    If the government can afford to give it back, then they should GIVE IT BACK! To ME!

    Not give it away to someone else.

    Reply to this specific comment

    by Charlie on Jun 22, 2008 at 1:46 am

  2. Charlie, I would agree with you if this were just a case where the government was refunding surplus money to taxpayers.

    That’s not the situation at all though. This isn’t extra money that’s been collected, or really even money the government can afford to part with.

    It’s a manner for addressing a national, fiscal crisis. The further down our nation’s economy slides the worse off all of us get.

    Access to money becomes harder for everyone in the form of loans, disposable cash, spending and so on.

    With less access to cash there’s naturally less demand for goods across the entire marketplace. This drives inflation up.

    While nearly every American prides themselves on their individuality there’s nobody secluded safely from the national economy. It benefits or hurts us all depending on the swings.

    If a rebate program to spawn consumer spending is the injection in the arm that all agree will stimulate the economy again, then it’s only practical and common sense to ensure the that money goes to sources most likely to keep it flowing by spending rather than retarding the effort by giving it to folks who’ll simply bank and save it.

    That’s why I say it’s a national problem so it shouldn’t be about the money or the circumstances of those who get it, but rather strictly about where can it–and will it–do the most good for us all.

    Hey, I’d love to have some extra cash for my boat fund; but I know that money will do more good for the country in the hands of someone less fortunate than myself. And as a patriot I’m willing to accept that sacrifice for the good of my country.

    Reply to this specific comment

    by Scott Bannon on Jun 22, 2008 at 1:46 am

  3. Scott,

    There is only one word that applies to what you support as a rebate, its “Socialism”, pure and simple!

    Reply to this specific comment

    by Mike on Sep 17, 2008 at 11:32 am

  4. Mike, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, however what makes a little Socialism a negative thing?

    If you really look at our nation, from the beginning to now there is no single idea or theory which truly applies to us.

    That’s because our system, manner for governing and way of life really borrows the best aspects (for the most part) from multiple ideologies.

    Are we a Democracy? No. A Republic? Sort of… Do we have free markets? Sure, except for where we don’t and impose regulations…

    Everything about our nation is made up of patchwork from multiple other ideas and systems, and it’s my belief that’s one of our greatest strengths.

    When our own are suffering, many through no faults of their own personally, isn’t it incumbent on us to try and do something that will be effective and immediate? Isn’t that the patriotic thing to do as an American, for our fellow American brothers and sisters in their time of need?

    But hey, we could fix this problem without any kind of socialistic flavors, just tax Warren Buffet and all those in his tax bracket at the same percentage rate I’m paying each year… problem solved and seems fair to me.

    Reply to this specific comment

    by Scott Bannon on Sep 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Leave a Reply

« Back to text comment

You do not need an account with Seesmic to leave a video comment, simply select the Anonymous user option. By submitting a text or video comment here you grant buxtohispano.com a perpetual license to reproduce your words or video and name/web site in attribution.

« | »

Recent Posts


About Political Blogs, News & Views

buxtohispano.com serves as an outlet for the political and social opinions of all who participate here. Every effort is made to keep the discussions civil and family friendly. This site will not be a shout-fest arena for anyone. We understand that passions can run high when debating important issues and questions that affect the lives of real [...]more →