According to an article recently published on Yahoo News from AP, the final details have been ironed-out and the legislation appears to be a sure thing. As usual, Washington made sure that those most harshly affected by the recent surge in food and fuel costs who are living on fixed-incomes via Social Security would be ineligible for any of the scheduled “rebates” that comprise the economic stimulus package. The language, even in the report from AP, is contradictory and requires more than a casual read as it jumps from one thought to another:
Rebates could be in your hands by May
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
But figuring out if you qualify — and for how much — can be complicated, thanks to confusing rules designed to get the money to middle-income workers and ensure it also benefits low-income people who are most likely to spend the cash.
“Almost everyone who earns income will receive some benefit,” said Douglas W. Elmendorf, an analyst at the Brookings Institution. “The idea is to target the money on the people who will spend a large share of it, and to target it on people who are likely to be hurt by an economic downturn.”
People who do not make enough to pay taxes but had at least $3,000 in earned income would get $300. Those earning less than that would be disqualified, as would the wealthiest. Older people living solely off Social Security checks would not get the rebate. MUCH MORE
Whoa! Did I miss something? The story begins by stating that “it also benefits low-income people who are most likely to spend the cash.” It doesn’t stop there, but goes on to say: “and to target it on people who are likely to be hurt by an economic downturn.”
If it is to benefit low income people who are most likely to spend the cash, then it should be targeted on those who are likely to be hurt by an economic downturn. As we all know, those who are hit the hardest are those who exist on Social Security as their sole source of income. When food and fuel costs increase dramatically and you live on a strict budget, something has to give. It may be a medicine that won’t be purchased, or making Doctor’s visits less often, although it’s likely to equate to less food and other essentials everyone needs to survive - plus cutting down on anything that might be considered as as a luxury item, like television, phone service, basics most of America takes for advantage. It also can mean being forced out of one neighborhood to a less expensive area as the poor struggle to keep roofs over their heads. For millions, there isn’t any “wriggle room” in their budgets, so when commodities spiral out of control, the elderly and disabled are the first to suffer and the last to receive assistance. Homelessness is increasing in the United States at an alarming rate, and as usual, it’s our Vets, the mentally ill, and the aged and disabled that we find on the bottom of the financial barrel - and Washington stubbornly refuses to include those who are among the most desperate for help in their so called “economic stimulus plan.”
Why? If the plans success is the injection of funds into the economy rather than the money being saved, those who have been the hardest hit would likely be among the very first to spend the money they received, albeit on the very basics; food, gas, catching-up on bills that are slowly overtaking millions who hover on the brink of disaster - you know, the ones that truly would benefit from these funds? It’s pure and utter hypocrisy and an insult to the millions that once contributed to their retirement through endless deductions on their pay checks, and these were the people that built the infrastructure we all exit upon today, yet now that they are old and disabled, they are tossed away like yesterday’s garbage…
Since I don’t use profanity on this Blog, I’d like to wish President Bush and our Congress who graciously put his measure together a hearty greeting I’m sure most of you will grasp immediately. As it pertains to President Bush, have one of your aides draw you a picture.
All of you. GO CHENEY YOURSELVES!
Other Articles of interest: Dammit, Why Won’t They Just Die?