What would you do if you had ten thousand extra dollars right now?
The government thinks you'd put it in the bank. They are quite disappointed in you. The government could be sending you a ten thousand dollar check right now instead of the economic stimulus package that will help, amongst others, the banks... but they won't, because they fear you will just give your money to the same banks that are getting the money anyway. In the case of the real stimulus plan, however, the banks get to keep the money. In the alternate plan, you would be able to take it back.
Obviously, you see that they can't just send us all a big fat check like that. Where is the logic in such an idea?
Oh, for the record... CNN-Money has tallied up the total for the bank bailout and the new stimulus package, dividing that number by the number of taxpayers in the United States. The total?
$9.718 for every American taxpayer.
Let's ignore the fact that our government has no clue when it comes to how we'd spend the money. If I received that check tomorrow, I'd finally have enough to buy the new smart fortwo cabriolet. And I would do it.
Most of us would spend that money on paying off credit cards (which we would then run back up) or buying some luxury item. This is fact. Americans don't bank their money. They may use the money to pay down debt, but they don't save. We actually spent more than we earned last year. Literally, for every dollar we earned, we spent a dollar and three cents. I don't think the government needs to worry about us tossing all that money into savings.
With a new, reliable car and an accessible mortgage payment, in addition to a pretty stable job (aided in part by the fact that electronics retailers would receive a pretty nice boost from this check as well), I would have much less worry about a catastrophic event such as job loss, car breakdown, etc. The money in my paychecks would more frequently leave my account and go out into the general economy. I don't feel that I'm the only one here who would be pumping this stimulus check right back out there.
The economists disagree with me, and they have proof! They say that we didn't go out and buy luxury items with the $600 checks last year. They fail to realize that six hundred bucks is a paycheck and ten thousand is seventeen paychecks... nearly three-quarters of a year's net pay. What luxury item can you get for $600? I'll answer that: a mortgage payment in a few months when things are tight. Put that in the bank. That is why we saved it. Ten grand would be quite a horse of a different color, to quote a movie from many government officials' younger days.
We have two choices. We could give billions to the billionaires who have already proven their ethical shortcomings and caused this mess, or we could give ten thousand to everyone. We always talk about the huge disparity in wealth, then when things are at their worst, the government wants to aid those in the top one percent in order to help "everyone?"
It just doesn't add up.