Unless you've been vacationing in Outer Slobovia for the past week, you now know that there is an economic stimulus package in the works for most US residents. In general, singles will get $600 and couples will get $1200 provided that their 2007 AGI was less than $75,000 and $150,000 respectively.
Given that this is money none of us expected to get (and therefore have not included in our budgets), the whining I see in so many personal finance blogs is disconcerting.
First of all, even though this is being sold as a tax cut, it is not clear that it really is. Depending on the legislation, it may be an advance on our 2008 refund or it may be free money or. . .who knows? Certainly not Grace. But by linking it to taxes, all those who would consign the poor to someone else's backyard, get to express their outrage that people who don't pay taxes could possibly be getting any of that money.
Hmm--did they not read the part about STIMULUS? Do they not know what that means--like spending the money? And just who will be the most likely to spend the money as soon as they get it, if not our poorest citizens who have the greatest immediate need? The truth is, if economists are correct about our economy needing stimulus right now, then ALL of the money should be given to the poor. Not that that idea would fly.
On a more personal level, it looks like I will be getting $600. I'm unclear as to whether I'll get an additional $300 for my daughter. She turns 18 this year, and was 17 at the end of 2007 which means I don't get the child credit for her in 2007, though, of course, I can still claim a dependency exemption for her.
Whether it is $900 or $600, I intend to do my part to stimulate the economy by applying all of the rebate toward my debt.