Friday, February 8, 2008

Whoohoo! We're Gonna Be Rich!

Looking forward to your new rebate from George Bush's Amazing Economic Stimulus Package (patent pending)?

As of this writing, Congress just finished a frenetic orgy of amending and voting and finally passed the bill. They hope to have rebate checks in the mail in time for the recession, or for the next undefeated season by an NFL team, whichever comes second.

But before you run out to Circuit City and spray another thousand bucks onto your credit card balance, make sure you're not in one of the five categories of people who probably won't see any serious coin:

1. Seniors
2. Geezers
3. Those who remember Eisenhower
4. Those who should remember Eisenhower, but can't
5. Future generations of Americans.

The bill was designed to give a $600 to $1200 rebate to taxpayers who make less than $150,000 a year.

Bush left old people out of the original proposal. His explanation: “I don't know about you, but every senior citizen I've ever met is a billionaire.”

Other conservatives simply wanted to avoid packing the bill with “extraneous” rebate hand-outs to those who don't even pay taxes (any more).

That's right, you so-called “Greatest Generation.” You may have sacrificed loved ones, limbs, and sanity to set the rest of us up for prosperity... but what have you done for us lately?

Besides, let us not forget the true purpose of this bill is not to throw money at fringe populations so we can temporarily not feel so guilty for ignoring them. Nor is it to massage the electorate into warm and fuzzy feelings about incumbents mere months before a major election.

No, the true purpose of this bill is to stimulate the economy.

We all know our elders cannot be trusted to do this. They would irresponsibly put the money in savings, either for retirement living expenses or for a grandchild's college fund.

Those few who would want to spend it probably don't have time, and would end up taking their newfound riches to the grave.

It is critical that we put this money into the hands of the young as soon as possible so they can blow it immediately on electronics and energy drinks.

Congress spun its wheels for a while. Senate leaders initially wanted to add money for the wrinkly and the disabled vets, but they couldn't get enough votes. Meanwhile, others wanted to raise the income cap, add heating assistance, extend unemployment benefits, or give the rebate exclusively to members of Congress.

Eventually, they rammed through a version that was pretty much what the President wanted, only with a token 300 bucks tacked on for each of our geriatric friends and mutilated soldiers.

I'm sure they will appreciate that money. It will go a long way toward paying for one of those little plastic bottles that contain prescriptions.

I guess they're lucky to get anything, since a consistent pack of conservatives believes the rebate is a rotten idea to begin with.

"It amounts to flying a plane full of cash over the country,” said Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), as quoted to the AFP news agency. “It will force us to charge at least 200 billion dollars to the federal credit card, and there is no guarantee it will actually work."

He thinks we should instead "stimulate he economy through job creation and economic investment."

How naïve. Obviously this would not accomplish anything.

Not in time for the election, at least.

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