I almost fell off my chair this evening when I read the following comment from our feckless leader, "Bush says rebates going out Monday will boost economy." I suppose he had to say something, but really, who does he think he's fooling? First of all, rebates, a marketing scheme begun by auto manufacturers in the seventies, a scheme which has since mutated and multiplied far beyond the auto industry, are, to put it mildly, bullshit.
I bet you know the drill.
Seller: Offers "product" for $2,000 dollars.
Buyer: Ponies up to buy "product."
Seller: That will be $2,250 dollars please.
Buyer: I'm sorry, I thought the product cost $2,000 dollars.
Seller: It does! You just pay me $2,250 now, and then I'll give you the cash back in a little while, (at least a month).
Well, it's no different today. The government is simply sending us taxpayers money that was ours anyway. So many folks think it's free money, but a rebate is never free money, it's money that is yours, but for reasons that have nothing to do with enhancing your economic well being, resides temporarily in the account of another, in this case, the government. So how does the return of funds that should have always remained in your wallet boost the economy? And how does a mere three or four hundred debased greenbacks allow taxpayers to do much more than pay down a little more of their whopping debts? It will take a damn sight more than a few hundred bucks placed in the hands of over extended consumers to boost our massively debt laden, contracting economy, Mr. President. Oh, I forgot, you think we aren't in a recession, just a period of slower growth. It seems something besides a rebate is being mailed in these days.