Thoughts on the Stimulus Check

Last night after attending a book reading by Salman Rushdie, we got back home to find a nice surprise in the mail: A stimulus check from the US Government for $1200. For those that have been living under a rock for the past six months, the stimulus check was approved by Congress earlier this year in response to the sub-prime mortgage debacle. It is being paid to U.S. taxpayers in 2008 to stimulate "purchasing", and thus improve the economy that is heading towards recession. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

Most taxpayers below the income limit will receive a rebate of at least $300 per person ($600 for married couples filing jointly). Eligible taxpayers will receive, along with their individual payment, $300 per dependent child under the age of 17. The payment will be equal to the payer’s net income tax liability, but will not exceed $600 (for a single person) or $1200 (married couple filing jointly).

We have been waiting for this check for months and it is finally here. Part of me did not want to believe it. The idea of a government paying you that much money in exchange for nothing seemed, well, too good to be true. This was definitely a first for me and I loved it. So, what are we going to do with the money now? Spend it wisely!

15 Comments

  1. Qwaider قويدر July 1, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Congratulations, but didn’t most people get their checks back in May?
    Mine was chopped down to $12.68 🙁 or as we say in Arabic, Jmeelethom 3ala 7alhom!

    Yalla, alf mabrook 🙂 Don’t spend it all in one place

    Reply
  2. natasha July 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Qwaider,
    Not everyone got their checks in May. I think the government started distributing the checks in May. I know many who still have not got their checks yet.

    Reply
  3. Craig July 1, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    The idea of a government paying you that much money in exchange for nothing seemed, well, too good to be true.

    It isn’t rebates and such that surprise me so much, as they are just refunding some of the money you paid in taxes. You are just getting some of your own money back… it’s “tax credits” that I find mind boggling. That’s when the government gives tax “refunds” to people whose income is so low they didn’t even pay any income tax at all in the first place. An alternative to welfare I guess, but it drives me nuts the way the government tries to describe it as something the recipients somehow “earned”…

    Reply
  4. Arabi July 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    “The idea of a government paying you that much money in exchange for nothing seemed, well, too good to be true. This ”

    You are just too cute. The last time this happened what did we get? 4 more years of Dubya and a f***** up economy that we are so NOT enjoying today, in addition to a far more dangerous world.

    We will be paying a heavy price for this and I’ll remind you.

    Arabi

    Reply
  5. Craig July 1, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    You are just too cute. The last time this happened what did we get?

    It happens all the time. This kind of thing is SOP whenever there is “consumer spending” crisis. Nothing to do with politics, it’s about the economy stupid (quoting James Carvill to Bill Clinton, not trying to insult you)

    4 more years of Dubya and a f***** up economy that we are so NOT enjoying today

    The economy is not that bad at all, man. The burst housing bubble and the high oil prices are making things rough on a lot of people, but things have been a hell of a lot worse in the past. If you don’t recall Jimmy Carter’s economy then you’ve got no perspective on this one…

    in addition to a far more dangerous world.

    More dangerous? For who? Used to have nightmares (I’m not kidding) about watching a nuclear missile flying in my direction, and trying to run even though I knew I was already dead. You’ll never convince me the world is a more dangerous place (for Americans) now than it was during the 1980s.

    Reply
  6. Arabi July 2, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Craig

    Don’t tell me about the economy that is not that bad, go say it to the average Americans that is suffering because of losing their jobs, having to evacuate their homes, and can’t hardly buy the food they need.

    As for the world not being more dangerous for Americans, keep dreaming on.

    I guess you are one of the ones that don’t learn and voted for Bush twice and will be voting for McCain.

    Don’t cry if the economy only gets worse if McCain becomes president.

    Reply
  7. Craig July 2, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Don’t tell me about the economy that is not that bad, go say it to the average Americans that is suffering because of losing their jobs, having to evacuate their homes, and can’t hardly buy the food they need.

    I’m a pretty “average” American, Arabi. Should I talk to myself? I know a couple people who lost jobs in the last few years, but they are working again now. I don’t know anyone who had to “evacuate” their home… I do know a few people who are looking to buy property now that prices have become reasonable again. I don’t think I’ve known anyone who couldn’t even afford to buy groceries in my whole life, discounting a few kids I knew in high school whose families were on welfare. Maybe we are using a different definition of “average” though? 🙂

    As for the world not being more dangerous for Americans, keep dreaming on.

    Sounds like it is your dream, not mine. I already told you I don’t feel the world is anywhere near as dangerous for Americans now as it was during the peak years of the cold war. Why is it that you so desperately want Americans to feel afraid, though?

    I guess you are one of the ones that don’t learn and voted for Bush twice and will be voting for McCain.

    I did vote for Bush twice, but I didn’t enjoy it. At least not the second time. Honest. Check the blogs. I was whining and complaining about having to vote for such a crappy candidate the whole time. I’m going to be even more unhappy about voting for McCain. I mean, I chose Bush over him in teh primaries twice in the past… how much does it suck to vote for a guy who i didn’t think was a good as Bush in the past? :O

    Don’t cry if the economy only gets worse if McCain becomes president.

    I’m not really worried about the economy, man. Seriously, my livlihood is not in jeopardy. I’m a software developer. The software companies are still bitching and moaning about how much trouble they have getting visas for skilled programmers, which is perfect for me, right? 😀

    maybe when Microsoft and the other software giants start “outsourcing” the actual coding to India or some such suicidal brainfart, I’ll have to take a job at a small company in a niche industry, but that’s as bad as it gets for me. Sorry to disappoint you.

    Do you really think it’d be me crying if McCain wins? lol.

    Reply
  8. bambam July 2, 2008 at 2:50 am

    craigy craig… wish you all the best, truly i do. You live in cali no ? have you checked the foreclosure numbers of the first quarter in comparison to the final quarter of last year? and you live in a “jingle-mail” free neighbourhood and i guess things aren’t so bad so that something like the frank-dodd bill would be introduced to the congress (i know you can’t help it but please don’t try to assassinate franks character ;)) The deficit ? dollar actual value ? extending bank credit by the fed to non banking institutes ? I guess the economy is so dandy that economist don’t have to worry about stagflation and they are not worried about an amalgam depression of the last 4 that happened in the US that is a combination number of high inflation coupled by a credit crunch (73′, 79′, 90′ and 01′) and a regan trickle down economy is the holy grail for you. Yuppers i wanna live in your world

    As for your voting pattern, i’m hardly surprised.

    Reply
  9. Craig July 2, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Are Arabs really having such a hard time of it in the US? I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I’d have more sympathy if you weren’t so sarcastic and condescending, though.

    My advice is take that brand new Beamer back to the dealer and try paying your bills, instead.

    Reply
  10. Craig July 2, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Also, I apologize for now being stupid enough to buy a house when the property “values” had just tripled in the space of a couple years. I apologize for having been paying attention to the financial analysts before both teh internet bubble back in the 1990s and the housing bubble just recently, burst. I didn’t get burned by either one. just lucky, I guess, right? I got divorced while property values were skyrocketing, and I did make a tidy profit when my ex refinanced the house under her name so that she could “buy out” my share of it. cali has community property laws, don’t you know, so i only got half even though I pretty much bought that house. Oh well. Half of it’s real-estate-bubble value was a lot more than we paid for it in the first place. I’ve been leasing ever since. Poor me 😛

    Don’t feel bad for my ex though. She never sold the house, and it’s paid for (no mortgage) so she’s not in trouble, either. It’s good to be lucky, isn’t it? But then again, I’ve never been one to live beyond my means either, and neither is my ex wife – she’s Chinese and Chinese people like to save money, not spend it. Unlike some other immigrant groups I can think of…

    Reply
  11. akinoluna July 2, 2008 at 7:43 am

    People who got the money direct deposited got it back in May, but people who asked for a paper check had to wait until a mailing date later on based on what their SSN is. The schedule is on the IRS website…

    Reply
  12. Hareega July 3, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I got my stimulus check very early, wasn’t too “stimulated” by it and of course didn’t spend it but out in all in the bank.
    I’m one of those stupid people who don’t always listen to what the government tells them to do

    Reply
  13. Peggy July 5, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I had identity theft in 2005. I’m strill trying to clear it up. The IRS KEPT my stimulus check to pay back the money they gave to the identity thieves when they filed fraudulent taxes on m in 2005. They won’t go after the thieves, but will harass me to my dying day to get their money back, including taking any tax refunds I shall ever receive and keeping my stimulus check. Where is that “kinder, gentler IRS” ???? In our dreams!

    Reply
  14. rena taylor July 6, 2008 at 3:07 am

    In looking for another site, I happened onto yours. I believe fate has away of placing people together. After reading through a selection of the blogs you posted, I thought this was the most fitting. I received my check in May right at the perfect time to spend it in your country. This was my first visit to Jordan. I was there for a week before traveling into Palestine where I also stayed a week. I had an amazing time and I thought the country was just beautiful. The mountains took my breath away. Everywhere I went people always said welcome to Jordan. While I read some of your posted blogs and realize that there are problems in Jordan as with any country, I found the people kind, and was able to learn more about Middle Eastern culture. This is my second trip to the Middle East and I look forward to my next trip to Egypt and for the chance to visit Jordan again.

    Also, don’t let those who send hateful words get you down, it just speaks to their inability to listen to their spirit within themselves, their lack of education, and knowledge about the world around them. It is sad that recently the most profound comment I read was from Kevin Sites book Twenty Countries, Twenty Conflicts One Year, where at the end of his journey and his book, he has a section titled “America, A Wealth of Information, A Poverty of Knowledge”. Sad in that it is true. It is for this very reason I hope to start my own blog about my travels, which I hope to one day put in a book. It is for this very reason I do what I do for a living.

    Keep writing hopefully all the written pieces might one day make a quilt to heal the hatred and bigotry that lead to the injustice and intolerance. Sorry such a long response in which only part pertained the actual blog.

    Peace be with you,
    Rena

    Reply
  15. Ali July 8, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Only in America, this would never happen in Jordan as we the citizens spend money on the Jordanian government!

    Reply

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