The Stimulus and us

No big shocker, the economy is messed up.  Obama and his stimulus package are now a done deal.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Obama is a smart guy, and a smooth talker.  The kind of guy you have to watch out for.

I think this image sums it up best:

obama-hype

So here we are.  The 800 bajillion dollar stimulus package has been passed by the Dems and signed off on by the president.

Here’s what it means to us based upon the info in this article on yahoo news.

First off, the Dishers are not rich.  We’re blessed but far from rich.  We’re technically middle class based upon my income and the fact that my income is our only income.

We still have some debt, but apparently far less than most Americans.   We didn’t buy more house than we could afford, and we pay our mortgage every month on-time.  Yep, even though it’s now worth less.   Not less than we paid for it, but less than it was worth 2 years ago.

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Of course we could have bought a much bigger house, borrowed more money than we could afford and taken out a silly balloon or interest only mortgage but I guess we were smarter than that.  Or perhaps maybe not so smart.  We’re not getting bailed out in any way.

It looks like I can count on an extra $13 a week, or $52 a month.   Not sure what I’m supposed to stimulate with that?   I suppose that could subsidize our cable bill.   Though if we were to buckle down and trim expenses that would be the first things to go.

“The $1,000 child tax credit would be extended to more low-income families that don’t make enough money to pay income taxes, and poor families with three or more children will get an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit”

This makes no sense to me.  We’re not low-income so I guess we don’t get this?  What benefit is a per-child income tax credit if you don’t make enough money to pay taxes to begin with?  Someone please explain this to me.

We’re technically middle-income so we’ll be spared the Alternative minimum tax what ever that is.

We’re not a first time home buyer so…   No benefit for us there.  Why would an $8k tax credit be limited to first time buyers only?  That seems discriminatory to me.

We can get a $1500 tax credit, if we spend a ton of money in an effort to get efficient.   We don’t need a new furnace, and to replace our windows (all 36 of them) even with a $1500 credit is still cost prohibitive.  The cost (over $20k) would buy a LOT of heat and AC.

So needless to say we won’t be stimulating the real estate economy because we’re not first time home buyers.   If you’ve been foreclosed on do you get your first time buyer status back?

We also won’t be stimulating the home improvement industry because $1500 isn’t applicable to us.

If I lose my job I’ll be happy that the first $2400 of unemployment won’t be taxable.

9 months of Cobra subsidy would also come in handy if I were to lose my job.  But why only 9 months?   If I’m still unemployed after 9 months I won’t be able to afford it then even though the Govt will let me keep it longer (up to 18 months?)

If I buy a new car, I get to deduct the sales tax?  Nice.   I’m not buying a new car, and unless you’re independently wealthy, you won’t be buying one either.  This doesn’t apply to used or pre-owned cars.  And it’s not clear if it applies only to the auto-makers they are about to bail out.

If you want to give me $8k to spend on a car, I’ll happily buy a nice used car for about $10k.   That might stimulate the economy some, but no I’m not going into debt further to buy a new car that will depreciate 30% as soon as I drive it off the lot.

I also really don’t  understand how the Government can loan 43 Billion dollars to a company who’s current Market Capitalization is only 1.3 Billion.

So somehow we’re all supposed to save the economy with our $57 more per month?

I don’t get it.   But rest assured, if you don’t make enough money to pay taxes, you’re getting a tax credit.

Thanks President Obama.

(Note this was drafted a couple weeks ago, and forgotten about)

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