Monday, January 28, 2008

When is a rebate not a rebate

Currently, congress and the president are clamoring all over each other to give a rebate to the American people. The current plan is $600 per individual, $1200 per couple and $300 per child. A family of four could get a check for $1800.

I'm not holding my breath. In fact, I cringe every time I hear the news.

The first thing that bothers me is that it is NOT A REBATE!! (Pardon the shouting, it's really not good for my blood pressure). I checked and has 12 definitions for rebate, the first being "a return of part of the original payment for some service or merchandise; partial refund." Many of the people targeted by this so-called-rebate actually never paid anything in taxes. So a partial refund to them would be $0. Actually, that's a complete refund.

The next thing that bothers me is the reason for the so-called-rebate. It's so people will spend it. Hmm. with the push towards digital TV's, that would make a nice down payment. I can see the ads now "We will cash your so-called-rebate check for you and use it as a down payment." Mark my words and when the ads come out, come back and show me (or maybe I'll show you).

Yes, some economic stimulus might be needed, but I'm not sure this is the prescription. How about a national economic education plan that says you can't spend yourself out of debt?

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