The Federal Government’s Propaganda to Spend

May 31, 2008

The U.S. federal government should be looking for solutions to the savings problem, not exacerbating it.

The U.S Treasury Department reported today that it has so far sent about $50 billion in “stimulus checks,” returning some tax money to all but upper-income taxpayers. Judging by the media’s response to  how these checks have been spent, we should be disappointed that too much of this money will go to pay off debts or even be saved.  From the time this stimulus package has been conceived, the government has worked hard to convince us that the patriotic thing to do would to be to blow the entire check as soon as it arrives.

This is sad. Election cycles are short, and it is clear that our politicians are more interested in short term fixes to the economy, increasing the chances that they will stay in office, rather than encouraging people to use what was their money to begin with to pay of some of some of their debts or to enhance their all-too-often-meager savings. Spending all of the money now may indeed help avert a recession in the short run, but the savings crisis is not going away anytime soon and when the U.S. does actually fall on very hard times (potentially much harder than we have now), it will only be people’s ability to draw on their savings that will allow them to keep purchasing the things they need and to allow the economy to avoid an even more staggering meltdown.

Savings creates our abilty to consume in the future, regardless of the highs and lows of the economy. A government planning for the long term security of its people would not ignore this.

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