John Walker's Electronic House

$300, or $80bn?

by on Feb.09, 2008, under Rants

After touting the idea for the last year, Bush is going ahead with his plans to give every American a $300 “tax rebate”. Costing the country $80bn, its intention is to give everyone an economic boost, and push away thoughts of a recession.

It’s like someone trying to bump-start their car’s ruined battery. Rolling it down the hill to get the engine to come to life, and hoping that it will be enough to reach their destination. It seems so implausible a solution, and so incredibly likely to cause the economy to break down a few metres further down the road.

I avoid conspiracy theories as resourcefully as I can, but when America’s education system is collapsing through a lack of funding, and $80bn is pissed away in meaninglessly small chunks of cash – a couple of new golf clubs, or a third of that month’s rent – it’s hard to ignore that terrifying feeling that the Bush administration – indeed the entire government who have approved this move – would rather see America get stupid, and shut up for half an hour while they spend their present. (It’s hard to immediately pin it down to electioneering, because the recession fears are happening right now, as well).

I have a thought for a response to this, but I’m the other side of the world, and not involved. But this seems like the right idea:

A massive campaign should now be organised to encourage all those who are willing to give their $300 to a single fund. A fund that is given to the American state education system, or something else similarly in crisis which the government are not spending money on. In fact, Bush gave me the idea. Quoting the Scotsman:

“President Bush first proposed the giveaway earlier this year, arguing that a stimulus package would work better if the people, rather than the government decided where it was to be spent.”

The implications of this statement are so terrifying. As if everyone getting a stupid £150 is going to allow them to change anything. But how about taking him at his word? Let the people decide where the government should have spent this money. Get organised, recollect all this money that’s being sent out, and then give it back to the state such that it can only be spent on those issues intelligent Americans believe need it most.

Can this be done? Surely such a move would receive massive amounts of publicity? It would get news coverage, simply because it would be confusing to them by its apparently altruistic (despite being anything but) behaviour. Surely the intelligent media would get behind such a project, and enough would get involved such that billions could genuinely get fed back into the system where they belong?

4 Comments for this entry

  • km

    Well, here, I’ll just post the e-mail I just sent you:

    Don’t get me started. I haven’t been this angry about something in politics since No Child Left Behind was introduced. Bush GAVE tax rebates and breaks in
    2000 (?) and it did NOTHING. THIS will do nothing. Both parties want to look good in an election year with threats of recession, which most people don’t even
    understand, but are scared of. That’s all this is. It’s horseshit. We pay for it in higher taxes or poor services elsewhere, like you said with schools or health care. Chicago has raised its sales tax to 9.5%–so people who can’t afford to buy food and clothes for their families can’t afford it even more now. That’s fucking insane. They’re raising property taxes and real estate taxes all to fund things like the black hole of transportation repairs. And they’re borrowing from other countries to pay for it. Oh God does this piss me off. I said to my dad, “I don’t WANT this money. Invest it back into where it should be.” And he said, “I’ll take it and put it away for the baby.” Well, great, it’ll help the baby pay for all the problems we’ll have in the country when she’s old enough to care.

  • Tom

    Hmm. One three-hundred dollar hooker-bot, or three-hundred one-dollar hooker-bots?

  • nolocontendere

    That “rebate” is a swindle, just an advance on your own dough. They’re forcing you to take out a loan that you have to pay back next year. Now all those people who mark 0 exemptions on their W4 forms at work and have exactly the right amount of taxes taken out of their paychecks will all of a sudden have to pay this un-asked for loan back in 2009. I guarantee you millions won’t be able to pay back this forced loan. Since most people are going to pay their credit cards, it’s being done to bail out the banks. Any pol that signs on to this scam belongs in prison.

  • Donna (km's friend)

    I’m thinking of either donating it to chariities Bush doesn’t believe in (enivronmental causes and stem cell research) or just donating it to Obama’s campaign .