Tax Carnival #33: Deduction Tips, Rebates, and Tax Planning
'Super Saturday' offers free filing help
for select stimulus rebate recipients

Refuting the rebate solution

"We need to stop and ask whether we can afford to spend $117 billion that the Treasury Department does not have on a program of dubious effectiveness."

That's the assessment of Bruce Bartlett, a former official in the Reagan and elder Bush administrations, in an op-ed piece that questions the value of the economic stimulus payments.

Taxrefundcheck_2 "It simply makes no sense to send out checks to people who have no need for it as some kind of election-year bribe to vote for incumbents of both parties." writes Bartlett in Monday's New York Times (yeah, I'm a tad late in getting around to my reading).

Instead, he says the rebate money would be better spent cleaning up the mortgage mess and its effects that have spread throughout the wider economy.

"My gut tells me that the vast majority of Americans would happily give up their rebate if they knew that the money would be used instead to help families in need and start the process of cleaning up the bad debts in the housing sector," Bartlett writes.

Well, is he right? Would it be OK with you If the politicians in D.C. decided to rescind the yet-to-be-distributed payments?

If you're undecided, you can read the rest of Bartlett's anti-rebate argument here.

Comments

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Nivek

I agree the rebate won't do squat to fix the problems with our economy but I also don't think a taxpayer-funded bail out of mortgages is fair or smart. Moral hazard will become ever more dangerous for our economy if the government shelters anyone and everyone from the repercussions of risky investments and poor judgement.

Matt Sullivan

I agree. I am not sure repealing the law is going to be the answer. Most American Consumers have already spent the money four different ways before it has hit their mailbox. It won't take us out of the recession that we are "not" in.

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