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Personal Choice vs. $7.50 a Week

The details of the stimulus have been released, and as an informed American voter, I have read (and I understand) the plan. Let me tell you something: I feel like I got screwed. Big time. We qualify for exactly *one* thing: If we buy a car in the next calendar year, we get to write the interest off on next year’s taxes. The only problem with this is that we’re not buying a new car, because we don’t want to have one more car payment. We’d rather save that money for things we need.

I’l be the first to admit there are things we could cut back on—the unnecessaries if you will. We have cable, we have cell phones, we go out to dinner once a week, and we have pets. Thankfully, we don’t have to pay homeowner’s association dues, so at least that’s something. We also don’t go out with friends (we have them over, if we do anything at all), and we have free passes to Disney, so that’s free entertainment. I clip coupons, and I get giddy each week when I save more than $10 at the grocery store. I only buy things on sale (the last shirts I bought were $1.60 a piece, and I stocked up. I wear these shirts every day).

The stimulus will be paid out to eligible Americans at the rate of $15 every other week, which evens out to $7.50/week. This is less than it costs for two people to eat at McDonald’s (even when one of them is a kiddo). So people who really need the rebate (and don’t mistake it for a refund) aren’t getting a whole lot of extra help here. People who don’t pay any taxes, meanwhile, are still seeing something, and I don’t agree with that. And keep in mind that this accounts for only $116 billion of the stimulus.

So while the FIRST $700 billion went to the banks who spent it on God knows what, I’m now expected to suck it up and shell out my share of the NEXT $800 billion. While I CHOOSE to have certain things, I certainly didn’t choose to foot the bill for people who don’t pay taxes (and some of those people also have cell phones and cable TV). I’m not saying that there are not people and organizations who need a little help right now; there ARE. And I’m happy to make private donations to my favorite charities (we like March of Dimes, Komen, and the American Red Cross). I’m also happy to donate time, since that ‘s absolutely free. But I really don’t think that this stimulus is the answer for MOST Americans. That’s just my opinion.

6 Responses to “Personal Choice vs. $7.50 a Week”

  1. Kevin Donahue Says:

    Who’s getting a stimulus?

    – People who drive golf carts instead of cars. (Seriously)
    – Electric cars for the governement
    – Block grants for community organizations (including our friends at Acorn who are facing federal election scamming charges)
    – $50 million for “the arts”
    – $165 million for fish farms
    – $1 billion for the census

    The truly sad part is.. in September 2008… Harry Reid was talking about a $58 billion dollar stimulus. Now we’re at $838 billion and counting. Talk about inflation!!!!

    Just think – two more years of a Democratic Congress. Our total might be well over three trillion by the time elections roll around again. But… they are *so* much hipper and cooler than the Republicans. Nancy Pelosi has twitter. ((swoon))

    Seriously… our daughter’s daughter is going to be paying the interest so that fish hatcheries can feel stimulated. Nice.

  2. Merrin Says:

    There is a lot about the bill that stinks, but *some* of it IS necessary. $165 million for fish farms is one thing that I’m actually okay with, as is $50 million for the arts (which have suffered under Bush, and are something that needs to be nurtured as part of an enlightened society). Golf carts, electric cars for gov’t workers, and block grants for CERTAIN organizations….not so much. I think that the amount of money is way excessive, and I think 75% of what it’s being spent on is crap and not helpful to the majority of Americans.

  3. statia Says:

    I don’t really look at cell phones as a luxury anymore. They’re kind of a necessity. We don’t have a land line (well, ok, we DO, but it’s for our security system and it’s basically the basic package of 14 bucks a month). Most people are now opting to drop land lines for mobile. My land line was basically a telemarketer catch all. No one called me. It was stupid to keep it.

    Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about the package. Except, lets hope the banks are using the money wisely and are not out taking a big joyride.

  4. camille Says:

    I think most of the American population doesn’t look at cell phones as a luxury anymore, but I do. And here is why: because I live in a town where a cell phone wouldn’t work at my house, or at many areas in my town. If I could cancel my home phone and get a cell phone, then I would b/c it probably would be cheaper, but it’s not an option down here. So, as far as my little spot on the map, people here who talk about how poor they are, but have cell phones and home phones, and go out to eat, and have satellite/cable tv and buy whatever they want at the grocery store with their food stamps and WIC, really get my blood boiling. And I know this has little to nothing to do with your post, but you did say “personal choice vs. $7.50 a week” and WE, my husband and I, make (and have made) tons of personal choices (sacrifices, if you will) so that we don’t have to rely on someone else to pay our way (hello single-jobless-mom-of-fourteen!). yea…so even though I’d be appreciative of $7.50 a week, I can’t say it would make a big difference in our lives.

  5. Merrin Says:

    The first $700 billion that went to the banks is loooooong gone. This $787 billion is going “to the people”, except it’s not. And as for cell phones, I know a lot of people who have replaced their land lines, and for them, then sure. I don’t need a cell phone (I don’t work, and pretty much everything I need, including the grocery store, is within walking distance), but I have one anyway, so I consider mine a luxury. I certainly don’t need the unlimited data plan, but I sure do like it. 😉 And I’m with you, Camille…..the people that DO make the choice to use the system for their own personal gain (i.e. use food stamps to pay for food so they can use their paycheck to pay for cable) really, REALLY piss me off.

  6. Merrin Says:

    Oh, and Miss Single-Mom-Of-Fourteen got a manicure the other day. I gave up manicures while we were trying to sell our house; I can’t imagine going and getting my nails done if I had 14 mouths to feed.

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