mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, January 25, 2008

madanthony's thoughts on the tax refund thing....

So, it looks like everyone is getting a bunch of money from the government. Joy.

So what does madanthony think about the economic stimulus package? Not much. First of all, I'm not entirely convinced that the economy is in that bad of shape - I think politicians want it to be, so they can have something to rescue, and the media likes reporting bad news. But I think the average American is doing OK, even though some individual industries (housing, car manufacturing, banking) are having their share of issues.

So I'm not sure the government should be stimulating anything to begin with. If they insist on doing something, I'd rather see them doing tax refunds like they are than doing massive government spending. True, government spending can be targeted more to certain sectors, but it's still money that taxpayers paid in, and they should be able to spend it.

I'd like this whole thing a lot more if there were some sort of, you know, spending cuts to accompany it. But no. So we are getting some of our own money back, but we'll have to send it back to the government later, with interest. Which sucks more for young(ish) people like me.

I'm also not thrilled with the fact that people who didn't pay taxes are still getting $300 back, as are people who paid next-to-nothing in taxes. That's not a tax refund, it's welfare, it's a straight-up transfer of money from people who work for a living to people who don't, and I'm not a big fan of that.

So what will madanthony do with his windfall? Nothing, yet. It will probably go into my savings account briefly, and then be used to either pay off my truck, if it's not paid off by the time I get it, or to pay towards my mortgage, in the hopes that I can get my equity above 20% so I can drop PMI (private mortgage insurance). So I won't directly be stimulating the economy, although you could argue that this will give banks more money to loan out, leading to more spending by other people and lower interest rates.

There are a ton of things I want to buy or do eventually - remodel my 70's-era master bathroom and kitchen (which I'd also like to expand to have enough cabinets to store 2 plates instead of 1), buy a new computer, eventually either buy a new truck or a second cars. But those are long-term things that $600 is just a drop in the bucket towards. I do plan on getting my backyard fenced this summer, and I'll probably buy some small stupid impulse buy items, but for the most part I'm in debt-repayment mode right now.

And I'd guess a lot of other people are - it hardly makes economic sense to buy things you don't really need when you are paying interest, which will probably mute much of the effect of this money.

So I never thought I would say this, but I would rather not be getting the check that I'll be getting.


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