In a month or two some machine in the bowels of the IRS headquarters* will start churning out pieces of paper which will be mailed to most tax-paying Americans with numbers in multiples of $600 printed on them which, for reasons I still don’t understand despite making a solid C in honors economics my sophomore year at A&M, will be accepted by banks as real money. Now we could get into a whole thing here about whose money this is in the first place and whether or not the government has a right to employ an agency
not particularly shielded by the Constitution to take money from us. But we won’t. I mean, who has the energy for IRS fights? Well, someone does, but not me. I’m just rolling with Jesus who said that Caesar can have the coins he prints his face on; the rest of my time and energy and loyalty is pledged elsewhere, and that enterprise sufficiently occupies me.
But that’s not why you came. Why did you come, by the way? I’m sure you’re asking yourself that question now. Well, whether you realize it or not, you came to let me make you uncomfortable about your plans for the money you’ll be getting back from the gub’ment. The President and his money counters are "giving" you this money, not as benevolent philanthropists, but in hopes that you’ll stroll down to the Piggly Wiggly and stock up on SPAM and bottled water for Y2K. Wait…crap, wrong major crisis that’s going to change our lives. Let’s try that again. They’re "giving" you this money in hopes that you’ll pour it into new SUVs and couches and Guess Jeans and Swatches (again, sorry, my brain keeps jumping eras). If you’d pour it into something that costs more than they "give" you so that you have to borrow some of that money at the new low, low interest rates that the Fed has also "given" you, that would be even better. Nothing stimulates the US economy like people spending more money than they have.
I’m running out of steam, but I would like to politely request that you stick it to Uncle Sam, who is "giving" you money so that you can promptly spend it on something you probably don’t need and bail him out of having to deal with the political fallout of a potential recession. Instead, use the money to get out of debt. Use it to buy something for someone who actually needs something but can’t afford it. Use it to help a college kid you know pay off some of his debt. Use it to help an unwed pregnant mother pay for medical care and food and housing (incidentally, a far better way to promote a life-ethic than picket signs and political donations).
Some guys I know from our days in PA have gotten a little nuts with this idea and started
a beautiful movement called Pentecost Project. They are encouraging us to take our stimulus money and invest, share, and reduce. I think this idea is brilliant, and I encourage you to get on board. Those not cooperating will not receive their 2008 Home Anywhere Stimulus Package Rebate. Sorry. I’m drunk on power.
* I know the checks aren’t printed in the IRS basement, but it makes for a better story. We all know they’re being printed on Cheney’s inkjet.