Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Yet More Reasons Why Americans Are Broke

A month ago I wrote about Americans who, despite carrying an average household debt of $8,500, continue to spend, spend, spend and rack up further debt. It's apparent--at least to me--that we have no problem spending money, even if it's money we don't have.

With that post in mind, do you recall recently getting a letter from the IRS informing you about the new "economic stimulus plan" and the resulting $600 (single) to $1,200 (married filing jointly) check that will soon be coming your way? Clearly the way out of the economic toilet this country is in--which, by the way, is a direct bi-product of Americans spending more money than they actually have--is to encourage people to spend MORE money.

God forbid the IRS send a letter saying that the reason the country is perched on the edge of a recession is because you people don't know handle your money so we're going to send you $600 and you're to put it towards any credit card debt you have or, if you don't have any debt, deposit it immediately in your savings account.

No, instead our fearless leader tells us that if we go spend this money it will "boost our economy and encourage job creation." Uh, yeah. For many American families it will play out like this:

"How are we ever going to pay off this $25,000 of credit card debt?"

"Hey--a check for $1,200 just magically showed up in the mailbox. Let's go buy a new TV! And everyone knows you can't get a good TV for less than $2,500 so let's just put it on the credit card and go do something fun with the $1,200."

The government knows that if they give people any length of rope at all, many of them will use it to further hang themselves financially. What a masterful plan: using consumers as pawns to "stimulate" the economy by saddling themselves with more debt--and acting like you're granting them a great favor in the bargain.

Oh, and how about the irony of the whole thing: this generous government subsidy comes at a time when Federal budget deficit is already up more than 60% over last year--$263.3 BILLION as of March 12, 2008.

Hey--it's only money.

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