So the generous government elite have deigned to return to us plebeians some of the money they confiscate from us by force on a weekly basis. Consider me underwhelmed.

Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House Thursday on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children. ...

The rebates will go to 117 million families, according to a Democratic summary. That includes $28 billion in checks to 35 million working families who wouldn't have been helped by Bush's original proposal, the analysis estimated.

Republicans, for their part, were pleased that the bulk of the rebates—more than 70 percent, according to an analysis by Congress' Joint Tax Committee—would go to individuals who pay taxes.

By "working families" I assume the story means family with members who work, but not enough to pay any taxes... which means they probably don't work full-time and are already likely to be on the public dole.

As many other more knowledgeable writers have already said, this "stimulus package" is idiotic. Besides being deeply "progressive" (in that the amount is basically equal rather than being a percentage of income) there's no evidence whatsoever that this plan will do anything to encourage long-term economic growth. The only way you do that is with tax cuts, which Democrats hate because they reduce our dependency on government.

If somebody grabbed your wallet and then handed you back a $20 bill, would you be grateful? Realizing the money was yours to begin with, you would probably call the cops rather than thank the thief.

President Bush’s latest gimmick to stimulate the economy by giving back to taxpayers $800 of their own money is the Washington equivalent of the “generous” thief. The biggest fairy tale in Washington isn’t Barack Obama’s voting record on the war in Iraq, but the notion peddled by Republicans and Democrats alike that the government has a big pot of its own money that it generously gives to people by “injecting” it into the economy as a stimulus.

In fact, government has only our money or money it borrows from lenders. The problem is it costs the government a major portion of every dollar it takes from us in collecting it and paying the interest on dollars it borrows. Why not just let us keep our money in the first place?

Cut taxes, and make the cuts permanent so that people can make plans and commitments based on the lowered rates. That's how you stimulate an economy permanently.

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