I know it's not just my tax return, it's millions spread out to millions. Some people are getting $600, I'm getting $300. From the different news reports over the last few weeks, it seems that the majority opinion of the public is that they're going to spend the money on whatever is needed first, be it school supplies, a credit card payment, or work on "the house." Home Depot is rumored to have spent a lot of money in marketing to get people to spend their return checks at their store. Wal-Mart is setting up check cashing serivces for the return checks with the obvious hope that they will leave the store with purchases. Some of the people interviewed said they would indeed go shopping, to buy themselves something they couldn't afford previously.

I've been hearing things like, "The government is watching to see where you spend your return." This is scary to me. The government wants to know where I am plunking down my measley $300? I know, millions of dollars to millions. But still.

So the government is giving us money to stimulate the economy; however we spend it as long as we spend it, we're stimulating something, to be sure. And these cuts that provided this money came from where, again? I don't know from whence the greenbacks came. People I've talked to said the paltry amount is a good figure, if in fact the sole purpose of giving it away is for it to be spent, and quickly. If it had been $1,000, for example, people might be more motivated to keep it for themselves.

I'll admit, when I got my confirmation in the mail of how much my return would be and when I would get it, the timing was impeccible. A friend of mine lent me $400 about a month or so ago, and this would help me pay it off, provided some unforeseen circumstance doesn't befall me before then, which it usually does. However, in today's economy, $300 ain't jack, not in New Orleans when you're already broke. I wonder if anyone here agrees with me. $300 is no promise of hope, it's a government-sized allowance. But then again, it was never advertised to promote hope, just spending.

I was talking to a friend last week about redistribution of wealth. He said that if we had an absolute redistribution, the wealthy would get all their money back in time because the poor would buy things they normally couldn't afford, that the poor and the wealthy have the same drive: to have money and to spend it. We have been told that tax breaks for the wealthy benefit others (or should have but didn't), and I get the impression that tax breaks for the poor help the poor only.


2001.07.25@16:16 Cool Man Eddie says Jet-Poop just cooled your writeup on I hate to break it to you, President Bush, but $300 ain't jack, baby
2001.07.25@16:18 xunker says Bravo!
2001.07.25@16:22 vagary says I like the economic analysis of the tax refund in ...$300 ain't jack but it seems like you spoil it with a bit much whining. :)
2001.07.25@16:58 bigmouth_strikes says I think you're absolutely right with your "I hate to break it.." wu. Imagine what a difference it'd made if you gave all those millions to the 25% poorest instead?
2001.07.25@17:05 Miles_Dirac says you neglect to mention that all of Pres. Bush's friends will be thanking him for the $300 check they get every day because of his tax cut for the rich.
2001.07.25@17:19 jaubertmoniker says Beautiful job on "I hate to break it to you..." sweetheart. That's an A-1 assessment!
2001.07.26@16:21 Ouroboros says when you note that you expect to use your $300 to pay down debt, you hit upon what I expect most of us will be doing wth our own refund-passing it on to credit card companies

    A typical American family can use the tax relief to pay for one year’s tuition at most community colleges, to pay for child care for about four months, or to pay for gasoline costs for two cars for one year.
    (The President’s Agenda For Tax Relief, February 15, 2001)

The typical family is defined by Uncle Sam as a family of four, with earnings of $50,000 annually. Our combined income as a family of four brings in $35,747 according to the adjusted gross income from our year 2000 income taxes. Our 'tax relief' was touted as being $600.00 for married filing jointly. Yet the small print says or 5% of gross income whichever is less. I hear that it's really more like a tax credit against next year filings. Oh well, the check arrived this week in the amount of $262.00 and it will be spent on back to school items like the $100.00 graphing calculator Number Two Son is required to have for his trig class that the public school system can't afford to provide.

Where did it come from? Well according to pundits it's based on a prediction of an estimated 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion.

Right now, our taxes have never been higher. Right now, our surplus has never been greater. To me it’s just plain common sense that you deal with the first by using the second.
So said Senate Democrat Zell Miller Of Georgia in a January press conference this year. He continues:
second. . . . This plan would make our tax code more progressive by cutting federal income taxes for people all across the income spectrum. And the largest percentage cuts would go to those Americans who earn the least. Under this proposal, six million more families will no longer pay any federal income taxes at all. That’s one out of five families with children.

Where does that leave our family of four? An editorial from The Wall Street Journal supports this tax 'relief' with this information.....

The Bush tax cut does not favor the rich. . . . Rather, higher income families get lower percentage reductions. Those earning $50,000-$75,000 a year would see an average cut of 30%; families earning $75,000-$100,000 would see an average cut of 18%; and those earning more than $100,000 would have an average reduction of 10%.
It puts us someplace between the cracks in this plan.

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