• Diane

    Now Now – can we listen to anything Mr. Bush is saying? Lame duck and all…

    I’d like to do some math: I am a stimulus recipient – and was either going to pay off the last of the new furniture for my new home. However, family came first and so there’s a plane ticket with that check’s name on it…

    Oh but back to the math: I got a letter saying I ‘may’ be entitled to a check. Then I got a letter stating I ‘am’ entitled to a check. Then I got a letter ‘specifying’ the amount of the check and date to receive it (I, like all my other pals, didn’t get it on that date, but 3 days after). So, for me, the IRS spent $1.23 on postage (unless they get some discount…) let’s multiply that by the 130 mil. you quote (mind you, some households do single filing so there are multiples that don’t show in this figure). How much is that – $159,900,000 in postage? Is that right?

    Before the debacle that is Iraq, we were told we couldn’t fund a new social security system or health care. Miracles of miracles – we’ve been funding this ‘war’ for years… going into debt, but funding it nonetheless.

    But we’ll not get full social security benefits…

    We were warned about oil and its inherent problems back in the 1970s. Fine I’ll date myself. I did have to sit on a freakin line for the family cars to get some gas. And yet here we are in the US still buying F150s and Hummers. Our public transportation (outside major cities) is horrendous or non-existent. We’ve allowed our rail lines to fall into disrepair – thereby putting dependency on truck and plane (for packages at least). The shortsightedness of Americans and their government is slowly coming into focus. We chose not to look for oil in our back yard. We’ve pissed off Venezuela (well, he’s pissed off). The Saudis and friends have us over a barrel (and truthfully, the Saudis are pumping what they can for the most part…) – and we’re teaching India and China to use oil – not so smart for emerging behemoths (in terms of population).

    Where is a high-yield savings account? 3% ain’t gonna do it. Is everyone putting into their 401k plans to their company match? Are you setting aside $10 a day just because (and then putting that $70 a week into the bank)? For what? Think about it. So many people are so bad off in LESS THAN A YEAR since the mortgage crisis came to light – do you not think in 20 years these folks will still have no retirement? WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE PAYING FOR THEIR lack of money understanding?

    I can blame our government for a lot – but I also blame a whole lot of capital pigs who gave mortgages to folks who couldn’t afford it. I blame people for being so incredibly naive or worse that they didn’t read the fine print, they believed the ‘it’s too good to be true.’ And I blame people again for not saving. It grieves me to think when I retire (if I can) I’ll be no better off than the guy down the street who didn’t save. He’ll get a bail out – a helping hand. I’ll get nothing but denial of medical claims by someone who doesn’t know how to pronounce the disease I have. I’ll have to sell my car, home, dog… just to get some canned beans on the table.

    That’s where this country is headed… and the generation in charge in the next 30 years are the whiners who today cannot play on a team that keeps score, cannot get red ‘Fs’ on a paper… cannot lead because their attention span is only as long as the IPOD snippet.

    So yes, I will spend the check because it’s mine. Am I afraid for this country? Heck yeah. Will I continue to try to get people to open their eyes, save, etc.? When I can. But I think I’m preaching to the choir here.

    Anyhoo, another long item cuz you got me so riled up. But that’s not a bad thing, now is it?

    Hopefully, someone will come tell me I’m wrong. I’d like to be wrong… on these counts.

  • B. Lewis


    I also used this money to pay down debt. I would have rather this money been put into a more useful program, like educational grants, to help remove the cause of my debt–student loans.

  • julie

    Oh, my dear friend Diane, how I miss you!
    You are technically right. This is your “extra” money (although extorted from you by govt in a form of taxes, as Kenrya pointed out) and you can spend it the way you see fit! But knowing you, your credit cards and your mortgage payments are probably in a good standing, as I remember, you were always on the top of your game!
    I do agree with Kenrya on the point where majority of Americans should spend it wisely, not on some useless crap that got them in to the hole in the first place, I agree with it 100%

    But I actually have another point I want to make. Not to generalize and say all Americans are alike, but majority think and feel that they are entitled. Entitled to a new car, house, brand-name clothing, etc – you got the point. But their sense of entitlement doesn’t necessarily correspond with a reality of the financial situation they find themselves in. First of, I have a problem with the entitlement part. From where I stand, no one is entitle to anything, every single person has to earn every single thing they want to have. Secondly, my motto is—if I don’t have money in the bank to cover my purchase 100% at the time of making that purchase, I will not use plastic to buy it. Because once you have the mentality where you feel like, by the time the cc bill comes your paycheck money will be in the bank, you are wrong, because it is easy to forget that that particular pay check should cover this month’s rent (for example). And as a result, your credit card bill is not going to be paid in full and the credit card will charge you 25% finance charge on that purchase.

    This strategy works for me. I never owed money to any of my credit cards. I manage to pay my credit cards ALWAYS in FULL, every single month, for the past 17 years, as long as I have been living in US. If everyone would think this way, I think our economy would be in a much better shape! What do you think, reader?

  • Diane

    Do I count as a reader? Jules!!!!!!! I’ve missed you and regarding your latest news (yes I heard thru the grapvine) – you’re better off. K – don’t you agree? Oh, Derek, do you agree?

    Julie – why not get a talk show ala Suze Orman. Your style would suit an entirely different group of folks, but your message is similar. Don’t spend what you don’t have. It’s really not rocket science. And why don’t Americans put enough money into retirement accounts to get the FREE MONEY from their employer? Did not the government pass something wherein a company can automatically take percentages from a paycheck to force savings? and matches?

    Why does someone have to be told by the government to do this?

    Entitlement? Sure ’nuff. Simplistically speaking: Americans, after victorious world wars, and a horrendous depression, decided the American dream was 2.2 kids, dog, home (let’s talk Levittown…). That post WWII generation really did do better than their parents, and so, the young boomers (late 50s, early 60s) were instilled with this sense of doing better than their parents. College, better jobs, etc. Still, no one fixed the stop gap that was social security (this was a temporary program….) Along the way, in the 70s, big business saw how much retirees really cost them (this barely 20years into the dream) and started floating this mutual fund/401k stuff, and quietly whittling down their pensions. Ouch. At the same time, dual-working families got a sense of guilt not being at home with kids. So kids were coddled. They were asked what they wanted for breakfast, what they wanted for after-school sports, what they wanted – not with ‘choose from..’ but what.. so parents have stretched themselves attempting not to say no to their kids. They pay for things they cannot afford. They give their kids toys – kids could actually use the one-on-one time with a parent. (Return to my previous rant regarding my fears for when this kid generation has control over my savings/pension/ssecurity).

    Entitlement, imo, came from not setting boundaries and saying no to kids. How can they grow up to be responsible if they had no limits whilst growing up?

    And mind you, we aren’t better off than our parents anymore – two failed wars (Korea, Vietnam), the fact we are becoming the Britain of the 20th century – we are losing our status. That’s ok, you cannot maintain dominance forever, but folks refuse to see this. And no one in government will take a stand because it will likely cost them future votes. So we’ve spent decades sweeping healthcare, ssecurity under the rug – rather than deal with the mess.

    We’ve allowed corporations to greedily prey on entire groups – and then we offer a BAILOUT. With what funds? AND WHY A COMPANY? Criminy we’re in a capitalist republic for goodness sake. Companies fail.

    And again, shame on Americans for not taking responsibility. Maybe more financial shows are needed in place of ‘The Kardashians’ ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Flava Flav and the like. Wake up America, stop voting for one of the Daves of American Idol and VOTE for shoring up the US economy and your future.

    OK, off soapbox again. Julie… I can only say I’m glad your shoes are paid in full!!! So are mine!

  • Shameeka

    Well first, I would like to say…..Thanks Bush for giving Kenrya her OWN money back to come visit me this summer. LOL! It is sad that folks have been fooled as you said. Remember we have to pay taxes on the money next year…..
    As for the gas situation, oil prices are going to continue to rise no matter what. We have to remember that 2 big places are industrializing at the same time….India and China. They are now using oil so our reserves are going to deplete sooner than we thought. This is why the prices are going up and folks are saying no to pumping/mining more oil.
    All that to say, spend YOUR money wisely.

  • Arlana

    Hello, everyone. All I have to say to all of you is, I agree with Kenrya. That stimulus money is ours to begin with and we are still being short changed. Diane, I am so happy that you have everything together. I hope that with the prices of gas and food, you can keep it that way.
    Oh yes, speaking of all the issues of the children today, we had them back in the day as well. Back then, the best therapy was DISCIPLINE and it worked. The government has set up a system to give people with certain types of degrees jobs and they are going to keep it that way, because the medications that they are allowing for children are messing them up more than they were to begin with. Now that is something that we should all be concerned about.

  • Diane

    I know I’ll likely have to claim the stimulus on state income, but not Fed. So we’ve got a bit of a break…

    Arlana – it’s not easy. I am not buying the same food products I used to – unless on sale. I’m not grocery shopping at the cheapest place every week because that’s a 20 mi. – each way – trip. So I’ve started the 3 weeks at close place for weekly items, and a once-a-month at the cheapest place and stocking up (I never thought I’d have to be this close to the bone). I’m about to research insurance for home/car as my employer has a deal (sometimes these are good or not, but it’s worth checking).

    I’m going to rid myself of the landline phone – there’s $500 a year (if not more)… I sure don’t have more than basic cable. It’s all about choices. After this, it’s a second job. And I don’t go out to eat, see movies. I wouldn’t go away except this is a family thing. And I’ll likely not go anywhere else this year because of this one trip.

    Did anyone hear American Airlines just instituted a $15 per checked bag fee? How would you like to be someone returning from a trip this weekend? And find you need extra cash to have your stuff with you?

    Now, I was gonna check my carry-on (cuz who wants to measure hair gel and all and possibly have it ditched by the TSA)? But now… I’ll be carrying it all on, and hoping my fractions/math and stuffing into a plastic baggie works.

    And still big oil says they can’t do anything. Same yammerings from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s. SHAME ON THEM. They can, they could have, they CHOSE not to… and still the government let’s them get away with it…