Last week, the Congress approved an economic stimulus package that should send approximately $1,500 dollars to my family. Wow, what to do with it? My first thought was to sock it away, but I read that saving the money won't help stimulate the economy and I want to do my part, so now I have to decide what to spend it on.
Well, due to the writer's strike, my family will be losing our earned income health insurance benefits, and $1,500 dollars will just about cover a quarter's worth of our new Cobra premiums and a one and half month's supply of EmergenC nutritional supplement, which is going to be our new health insurance plan. But I don't think that's the kind of spending that the administration has in mind.
On the other hand, I could put the money towards our ballooning bills, this month alone we had a 450 water and power bill, 120 dollar heating bill, 230 dollars a month to fill our gas tanks, not to mention the home equity loan we took out to help bridge our shrinking incomes, but we won't have anything to show for it except for having the lights on, running water and not burning our furniture for warmth, so that's just not that satisfying.
Then again, $1,500 dollars, is actually the exact amount I spent on Botox injections last year, but Botox brought in at least $500 million dollars to the pharmaceutical industry last year alone, so I don't think that part of the economy needs any help and though it might raise some eyebrows, literally, I'll just have to look as worried this year as I truly am.
Or, for about $1,500, I could hire our babysitter, once a month (60 dollars) and my husband and I could go out for dinner (65 dollars for a light meal and one glass of wine each), but I suspect our local wine bar might have some illegal immigrants on it's payroll and I don't want my money to go to the underground economy, so we'll just stay home and watch TV.
Speaking of which, we have an old honking TV set in our living room and if we don't want to find ourselves tuning into snow next year, we'll have to do something about it soon.
$1,500 dollars just happens to be the advertised price of a Samsung 52-inch plasma HDTV flat screen television. That doesn't include the taxes, but I can just put that little overage on my credit card, right?
So, I'll take my government money, essentially funded by Chinese investments, and then borrow from my credit card company, Citicorp, who despite a recent injection of cash from Abu Dhabi and Singapore still plans to cut 5,000 jobs this year, and purchase a Korean-made television set from Circuit City. Will my purchase really help the electronics giant hire back any of the 3,400 employees they let go last year? It seems like a stretch. I'm not an economist, but I have to wonder, is this really the best economic stimulus plan our government
could come up with?