Sunday, October 26, 2008

John's Economic Stimulus Plan

So a few of us were joking around while chatting about our Titanic Economy, and the subject of the Stimulus came up. It was pointed out that one of the main 'plans' for that money was for us consumers to go out and buy a big screen TV or a new washer and dryer or something, and thereby boost the economy through retail spending.

What really happened though is most of the American people put the money towards existing debt, or paying their taxes, or they just put it in the bank. Not such a big help for the 'plan' of boosting consumer spending.

So we were joking that perhaps the government should just buy everyone a big screen TV for the next stimulus package. That led me to write a letter to my senator. Here's what it said...

To my Government Representative,

Here's a thought for the next economic stimulus. It is my understanding that the stimulus checks were supposed to boost consumer spending amongst other things. The last stimulus package didn't work out so well since most of us used the money to pay down debt or, in my case, pay my taxes.

What if this stimulus package was given out in the form of something akin to a gift card or gift certificate? Redeemable at any retail store, the stimulus recipient could 'pay' with the card and the retailer would then submit the bill to the treasury. This way the money goes to actually boosting spending instead of being tucked away for the economic hurricane to come. The cards would only go to the taxpayers who pay in anyway, much like the last stimulus. So the Republicans shouldn't have any "spread the wealth" issues. And the consumers would be literally forced to buy something retail, thus boosting the local economy and such.

Best of all, if someone fails to use their stimulus card within, say, six months, the money reverts to the treasury thereby saving taxpayers the cost of paying it out in the first place.
Just a thought.
Thanks for your work and your service to our state.
John the Paramedic

So, whaddya think? I almost threw in as an aside something like "Or you could just buy everyone in the country round trip tickets to Hawaii." But thought better of it.

How will you 'spend' your next stimulus check?

More Later


Gray said...

It's funny you mention this, because the government actually did something very similar with about one million surplus checks last time. They analyzed the employment, debt, and consumer habits of a bunch of people and selected about a million people who were most likely to not spend their surplus checks frivolously. These people didn't get their checks; instead, the government bought them each a consumer item (air conditioners were pretty common around here) and mailed it to them in lieu of a check!

Testing group said...

Here's a thought, how bout instead of giving away money, in hope that it is spent, why doesn't the governement do some consumer shopping of it's own. They could buy bridges for Minnesota, or books for schools in Louisiana. They could purchase windmills or Dams or other means of green electricity. This spending would improve infrastucture create jobs and boost the economy. Besides our reliance on comsumerism is what tanked the economy in the first place.

John said...

I love your thought TG! Unfortunately it makes sense, something that is still a bit scary in DC. Have you sent that in to your state representatives? You really should!

Gray- wow. my jaw dropped. I'd rather have the big screen though!:)