Monday, June 09, 2008

Government Stimulus Check

Ours came. Hurray. Of course the only fiscal stimulating we'll be doing will be paying bills. It will be gone by the end of the day and we won't have taken a bit of it to Walmart. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful; it's money we didn't ask for, earn, or borrow from somewhere. In this household, no matter how careful we are, there is always a shortage. I don't know anybody who's spending theirs on non essentials.

Personally I would have preferred the government focus their energy on figuring out how to lower gas prices (It's up to $4.00 per gallon in some places), food, and utilities, aid with the foreclosure rates, deal the out of control banking industry, and outsourcing our work to other countries. Those of us down here in the lower middle class are taking a beating and we're fast approaching scary ground.

But, as always, there are those who are worse off than we are. The people live below the poverty line are significantly poorer than they were just a year ago. If you're thinking food stamps is their answer--think again. In case you didn't know, the government doesn't increase the amount of food stamps people get when the economy goes in the dumper. A year ago foodstamps provided $1.00 per person per meal, which was bad enough. You can imagine what it must break down to now. Additionally, the deductions for living expenses they allow people to take when they're determining how much food stamps a family or individual is supposed to get hasn't changed since 1996 in Missouri (inflation increases were frozen by a welfare law). Families are trying to figure out how to feed themselves on even less between their dollars and foodstamps. This has translated to a 70% increase people in going to foodbanks, many of whom are struggling to provide the needed help.

Meanwhile in Washington, Bush vetoed the Farm Bill the purpose of 2/3s of which would increase food stamp benefits to those who need them. His objection was the 1/3 of the bill which would have provided additional monies to farmers who are already "rich enough", according to him (even though it actually tightened up on who would get the subsidies). Congress overrode his veto, but even they can't get their acts together. I can't figure out why they couldn't have passed a bill that simply increased foodstamps and hash out the issues over farm subsidies on their own time.

Note: Word has it that McCain has chosen to focus his campaign on National Security. Yeah, that's what most Americans are concerned about when they wake up in the morning. Just after "Gee! I hope there's enough money in my checking account to get me back and forth to work, feed my kids, and pay for my trip to the doctor tomorrow" they think, "And I sure hope they check everybodys shoes for bombs before they get on their airplanes."McCain is of the mind that we need to continue the fight in Iraq for "as long as it takes." He agrees with Bush's veto.

Obama? He's focused on the economy and healthcare and bringing our people home from Iraq. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.


Anonymous said...

I have been following the US election process with interest. It is so different than here. From what I have read, Obama is very popular and his popularity growing every day.

We, here, are heading into a recession (but the government denies it) and purse strings are about as tight as they can get. Petrol (gas) is ridiculous, food is diabolocal, bank rates just plain stupid. Soound familiar?

Debby said...

Shirley: I read your last paragraph saying, "I didn't know she lived HERE."

Mary: We got our stimulus check yesterday as well. It will go in the bank with our tax return to pay taxes this fall. I'm not sure how much of a 'stimulus' that will actually turn out to be. Doesn't do squat for me....

Mary O. Paddock said...

Shirley, I think anymore the world economy is so interconnected, it's difficult for one major power to suffer without it affecting the others.

It was nice to get it Debby, but it really doesn't make our ongoing problems go away.