Happy April Fool's Day
Barack Obama's tax cut, says the President, will be felt by April 1st, April Fool's Day.
Now, I'd like to take just a moment to ask for a little consensus. Since I'm single and unmarried, my additional tax credit will be only $400 while married people will get $800. That will translate to about $13 extra dollars in my paycheck. By next year, that'll get cut almost in half and we'll be back to where we started.
Question: How is this tax cut supposed to be efficacious in any meaningful way? It seems supportable on a macroscopic level, since that money, obviously, will be trickled into the economy piecemeal by each family.
But on a family level, how is this $13 extra a week that we'll be seeing in our paychecks going to significantly contribute to our personal financial salvation?
$13 will buy you maybe half a tank of gas or two packs of cigarettes. The difference will not be nearly big enough to allow me to get health insurance, which at my job is a joke, and Mass Health's premiums aren't much better. Myself, I'd rather get that $676 extra a year bundled in with my tax return next year. At my current tax table, that will get me $1100 instead of the $400+ that I'll be getting next month.
It's unreasonable to think that the average American taxpayer, in order to maximize the impact of this extra money, will put that extra $13 in the bank. And, of course, that was never the President's and Congress' intention. They want that money to be put back in the economy since people in my economic strata are what one person called "raging economic engines."
So in a macroscopic way, it makes sense to do it this way but I don't see how it benefits the average family. As much as I was opposed to it at the time in principle, I have to admit that George W. Bush's $600 stimulus check last spring did my family and I a helluva lot more good than the $676 dollars that Obama and Congress will be giving us by dribs and drabs. Plus, let's not forget, while the consumer price index will go up by at least its normal 3-4% (and the economy worsening the way it is, it could easily be higher than that), next year's tax break will shrink down to $7.70 per week.
What are your thoughts on it? Have we just been made fools of?