Gentlemen, start your engines.
This may be Daytona week, but I’m not talking NASCAR.
I’m talking about the tax rebate checks that will be coming our way. The checks will be in the mail soon and Uncle Sam is hoping you spend them.
I, for one, will be happy to oblige (under the direction of my wife Jody, my banker and cash consultant).
You’ve heard of tax and spend politicians. How about cash and spend constituents.
Despite remarkably quick passage, the economic aid plan and its cash rebates may come too late to prevent a recession this year. For many experts, however, the $168 billion boost to the lagging economy may mean the difference between a short downturn and something much more serious.
The measure that President Bush plans to sign this coming week will send government payments to more than 130 million people. Checks that will start showing up in mailboxes in May range from $300 to $1,200; households with children get an additional $300 per child. Businesses benefit, too, through tax breaks to increase investment spending on plants and equipment.
The tax relief is intended to jump-start the economy. Politicians, worried about a recession in an election year, put aside their normal bickering to speed the proposal through Congress.
Thank-you politicians. If you give me the money, I have quite a wish list.
Here’s my top 10 list of things to do with my tax rebate:
10. — Give some of it to Exxon. The oil company reported record profits again this past quarter and there doesn’t seem to be any end in site. There is talk of $4 a gallon of gas by this summer. This is one battle we just aren’t going to win.
9. — Give some of it to the Cleveland Cavaliers to get some help for LeBron James. I watched the final quarter of Sunday night’s game and saw a guy come in (Cedric Simmons) who I didn’t even know was on the team. How long is LeBron going to put up with this?
8. — While we’re at it, maybe we can send Mark Shapiro some money for the C.C. Sabathia fund. Like LeBron, C.C. could be another superstar who gets away.
7. — Give some of it to my buddies at the Monroeville American Legion. They have a fish fry each Friday and it may just be the best deal in the area. I would suggest it to anybody. Just like at Cheers, everybody knows your name.
6. — Send a little off to Capital University, Bowling Green or Owens College. Did you ever see how much a college text book costs these days?
5. — How about a quick trip to Casino Windsor? A quick check Monday afternoon, however, shows $1 in American money is only worth 98 cents Canadian. A spokesman at the casino on Monday said he remembers when the American dollar “topped out at $1.58 or $1.60 in ‘03 or ‘04.” That just shows you how tough things are here and how our economy really needs a jump-start. Scratch that idea, I’ll keep my money in America.
4. — Share it with the girls. If we get $300 for each kid, I’d be willing to split it 50-50.
3. — I can buy some tickets for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals June 26 to 29 at Summit Raceway Park in Norwalk. The National Hot Rod Association kicked off its 2008 season this past weekend in Pomona, Calif., and watching John Force get back behind the wheel got me fired up.
2. — A new roof, breaks for the van or gutters? Sounds like the right thing to do, but that makes too much sense, and it’s not very fun.
1. — Can you say Las Vegas? What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas ... just like your money. We’ll do our part to help the economy.
Joe Centers is the Reflector managing editor. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]