Friday, January 16, 2009

Help Us Decide What to Do With Our Stimulus Checks

BOULDER, Colorado -- After the release of the economic stimulus plan proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner (it's pronounced "boner" - it really is, I promise) called the $825 billion dollar plan "disappointing."

Itchy and I are also very disappointed with this stimulus package, but probably for very different reasons than Rep. Boehner. We believe that Barack Obama and the Congress are squandering an opportunity to make this a transformational moment for the American economy. This watered-down proposal looks to be little more than a series of Reaganite tax cuts, porkbarrel road-paving projects (a side note: incoming transportation secretary Ray LaHood has very close ties to the paving industry in Illinois. Does anyone else realize that means he totally has connections to the mob?), and stupid refund checks.

As someone who does not make enough money to actually pay federal income tax, I resent the fact that government is going to send me a $500 check anyway. What about paying for all this new spending Obama has promised, like his renewable energy initiative, improving healthcare coverage, and investing in mass transit? We are tired of this populist pandering, so we are staging a protest. The government wants us to go out and spend those checks to "stimulate" the economy, but we are not going to do that.

Itchy wants to just put his in the bank, but I thought we could have some fun with the refund checks and ask our readers to decide for us what we should do with the $500. So, to the left of this posting you will find a poll of what we should do with that check that really isn't beneficial to the economy on the whole. Should the voting reach a reasonable quorum, I will do (I can't really speak for my partner) what the readers desire, and post the results here for all to see. Now, there is no guarantee that refund checks will be a part of the final legislative package, but if that day should come, here are a list of things I would rather do with $500 than put it towards a new Chrysler:
1. Put it in the bank
2. Bet it all at the dog track
3. Donate it to New York City's struggling MTA
4. Donate it to the Kalamazoo Promise, so some kids in Michigan can go to college
5. Give the money to whoever is running against America's Dumbest Senator, Richard Shelby (R-AL), in the next election
6. Donate it to a Palestinian relief organization
7. Have the check framed and never collect the money, like Rickey Henderson did with a $1 million bonus from the Oakland A's
8. Buy a plane ticket to Washington, DC, and try to strike a member of Congress in the face
So vote now and vote often, and once we get this awful, compromised bill made into law (and I get my dumb, wasteful check), I will let you know the results.

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