SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot
Monday, March 24, 2008
Uncle Sam Wants You to "Hurrrry Up And Buy!"
Every person living in the U.S. has been affected by our nation's current economic crisis. Poor, rich, black, white, urban, rural, short, tall... Folks of all walks are feeling the crunch. Some blame the mortgage lending disaster; some point the finger at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan whose costs we cannot afford, ignore, nor deflate; while others attribute our financial woes to the weak dollar combined with this country's shaky relations with various industrial nations. Personally, I'd say all of the above and then some plus a f**ked up karma means we are S.O.L. and will be for quite some time. But have no fear. Congress and resident White House H.N.I.C. are going to help us po' folk by way of a rebate check coming real soon to a mailbox near you.
Basically the idea is to give the people a lil' extra money which they will in turn spend ('cause we clearly don't save), thus fueling our sinking economy. Sounds cool, right? Hahaha... Those of us who've been bamboozled before know better. Well I can only speak for self, but I hope y'all know a rat when you smell one. And this shit stinks to me.
Rebate and Donation are not synonymous.
Since we're such a great and wealthy nation, why can't Uncle Sam dig into his pockets and and throw us some change? Make a list of all citizens (and legally permanent residents) ages 18 and over and get busy? That would be way too easy. Instead a complicated system has been devised which bases your rebate on the amount of taxes you paid in 2007. It is a system that will confuse many and possibly leave out millions of people. Ah yes, the American way.
This quote from an L.A. Times article about the rebate sums it all up for me: "If you are going to give everybody a check and call it a tax rebate, I don't know how you do that without a tax return." Those are the words of Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy at Deloitte & Touche.
So you must file a tax return to receive the rebate. It is payable to those with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 individual/$150,000 married. The exact amount is $600/individual and $1200/married couple OR amount of tax paid in 2007, whichever is less. $300 for those truly po' folks who barely earn a dime or live off small change like social security. And up to $300 per child.
Why hasn't anyone addressed the fact that this rebate will be considered taxable income when we file our 2008 tax returns?
What if you owe the IRS or your local government for unpaid taxes?
What if you're on the IRS Most Wanted list due to unpaid student loans, like me?
What if the majority of this nation's citizens are so far in debt and way too underpaid that these few extra pennies are damn near non-existent by the time they cash them in?
I'm no Mellody Hobson or Suze Orman but I can read, write, and do arithmetic. And I have a great sense of smell. Fishy odor on the horizon...
I could possibly just be paranoid. Which is completely expected from a jaded tax-paying wage earner such as me. But just in case, here's an idea. If you receive a rebate check, write "return to sender" on the envelope and send it back. Tell Uncle Sam we want relief, not a rebate.
The rebate veto of '08.
Whatcha think 'bout that?
Dark & Stormy