January 28th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Tax rebates for people who earn too little to pay income tax?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In meetings to hammer out an economic stimulus package acceptable enough to pass an anticipated House vote, President Obama told Republicans he's not willing to compromise on tax rebates for nearly every working American.

Should Americans who don't pay income tax receive one of these stimulus checks?

According to an aide, the President said, "Feel free to whack me over the head because I probably will not compromise on that part."

Every working American includes people who don't make enough to pay income taxes. The President justifies his support because these people do pay payroll taxes, Social Security and Medicare and therefore, they are taxpayers.

No matter how you look at it, the economy is bad and that's true for everyone, whether you pay income taxes or not.

Jobs are disappearing by the millions and people are scared.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 37.7 this month, which is an all-time low dating back to 1967.

There's no light at the end of the tunnel, at least not yet. And President Obama might be giving a glimmer of hope to the least fortunate among us by standing his ground.

Here’s my question to you: Should people who earn too little to pay income tax be given tax rebates?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Rebate Checks • Taxes
June 12th, 2008
03:50 PM ET

Fair to pass economic stimulus cost onto our kids?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Guess who's paying for that $170 billion economic stimulus package? Our children.

Those rebate checks meant to stimulate the economy helped push the federal budget deficit to $166 billion last month, a record high for the month of May. The Treasury Department says this May deficit was more than double what it was last year.

During last month, $48 billion in stimulus checks went out as part of an effort to revive the economy. This stimulus package was actually something that prompted Democrats and Republicans to work together. They settled on checks of $600 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 and $1,200 for married taxpayers who earn less than $150,000 together.

The Bush administration estimated earlier this year that the deficit would be $410 billion, but many private economists believe it will be higher, possibly topping the all-time high of $413 billion set in 2004. And remember, the deficit numbers reported by the government don't include the cost of the war in Iraq, estimated between $150 billion and $200 billion a year.

The largest increase in retail sales in six months in May is an indication people are spending those rebate checks. The increase was double what economists were expecting. But it's likely only temporary.

The point is this is all borrowed money that's being used for the rebate checks. Money that will someday have to be repaid – probably by our children or grandchildren.

Here’s my question to you: Is it fair for the government to make our children pay for the economic stimulus package?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy • Rebate Checks • Uncategorized
May 22nd, 2008
05:50 PM ET

Rebate checks = confidence in economy?

US Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

So far, the government's big solution to fixing our sluggish economy has been to pour $150 billion into tax rebate checks for about 130 million Americans. The idea behind it is to bolster the confidence of U.S. consumers, and to get them to spend that money to jump-start our economy.

But, turns out the checks – in the amount of $600 per individual and $1,200 per couple – may not be doing the trick. A new Gallup Poll shows people who have already received their tax rebates feel just as uneasy about the state of our economy as those who haven't yet gotten the checks.

43% of those who received the rebates rate the economy as "poor" while 18% say it's "excellent or good." That's nearly identical to the 43% of those who haven't received a rebate and say the economy is "poor”, while 16% of them say "excellent or good."

87% of those who have received a rebate say the economy is getting worse, not better. That's about the same as the 86% who haven't gotten a check and hold the same view.

Also, the tax rebates seem to have done very little in the way of relieving Americans' worries about their own financial situations. Almost the same percentages of people say they "worried about money yesterday" – regardless of whether or not they've received a rebate check.

Here’s my question to you: Do the government’s rebate checks make you more confident in the U.S. economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Rebate Checks • US Economy