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How to Waste $42 Million (and Blog Roundup)

This article was written by in Taxes. 6 comments.


“The check is almost in the mail.” Shortly, the IRS will send letters to everyone who filed a tax return for 2006 to let them know about the economic stimulus rebate checks. The actual checks won’t be in the mail until at least May. On one hand, it’s good to get information into the hands of people across the country who have been living under a rock, but it comes at a great expense — an expense of $42 million.

The letter will also explain how the tax rebates “work,” but I have no doubt the text in the letter will raise more questions than it will answer. Still not sure how much of a rebate you will receive due to this new stimulus package? You can calculate your refund here. This calculator has been viewed by over 240,000 people.

Let’s get away from taxes for a little bit and look at a few articles posted elsewhere:

Lisa Tiffin, a guest writer on Get Rich Slowly, informs readers how to inoculate your children against advertising. “We didn’t sit the boys down for long lectures; rather, every time we noticed that a commercial or a print ad caught their attention, we asked them if they thought the product really did what the commercial claimed.” Engaging children in intelligent discourse is the best course of action; shielding them from the media will only breed confusion and misunderstanding as the grow up.

Speaking of children, do you consider the cost of children before having them? This question was asked by Free Money Finance. It would be safe to say that many people do not think of the financial considerations before having children. In 2005, it cost a family an average of $190,980 to feed, house, clothe and entertain a child from birth until age 18.. But if everyone waited until they could afford to have children, I find it unlikely that the species would survive.

Greg from Consumer Reports has gone thirty years without a credit card (sort of). Greg actually uses American Express for some expenses, particularly for renting cars and booking hotel rooms. It seems what Greg is really trying to say is that he has gone thirty years without carrying a debt balance on a credit card. He is required to pay his American Express card every month or else face a fee. I’m not required to pay my credit card off every month, but I do in order to avoid interest charges, and millions of households do the same.

Updated August 9, 2011 and originally published March 7, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Scott

For the news media to put so much attention on the $42 million letter without pointing out that the cost of the letter is 14 cents per American as compared to the Iraq war, which will end up costing well over $3,000 per American is a tremendous violation of their responsibility to inform and educate.

Instead they have chosen to obscure, stir up and entertain. To CNN a mis-informed electorate is a small price to pay for ad revenue.

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avatar Bill

$42 Million…it’s amazing how much this country blows for stupidity (never mind the $150 Billion for the package itself).

Amex is a Charge card not a credit card so techincally, he never had a credit card.

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avatar TMarie

Even if I wasn’t eligible for this payment I still don’t think it would be a big deal to me. Finally, the U.S. is investing in itself. We’re facing a recession. Otherwise lets talk about tax breaks given to the wealthy and big corps. The middle and lower middle have been slighted for the last couple of years. What’s the problem?

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