600 and Falling: Time Release Check Payments– For Your Continued Economic Hardship

May 7, 2008

The U.S. government will be sending out economic stimulus checks on a timed schedule based on the last two digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number. According to the IRS website, my bracket of paper checks will be mailed “no later than” June 27.

Which means, of course, more months of barely scraping by, bouncing checks and saving money until I receive my check some time in July. By then, what with all that scraping and saving going on, I won’t need the money like I need it now.

Things have been tight, to say the least. I moved back to Buffalo from Boston with no job on April 1, and I finally got a steady job a week and a half ago. I haven’t gotten my first check. I’ve been buying food at gas stations with outdated credit card software because I know the transaction will go through and I’ll be able to walk out with something, even though I know it will be sinking my checking account further into the red and creating more overdraft charges for when I actually get some money in the bank. Things like cable Internet service or staying current on my cell phone bill that were previously just expenses now seem more like long term goals, something to start a change jar for like a trip to Six Flags or a new bike.

Now this. This idiotic Band-Aid solution to the nation’s financial problems. As a matter of policy, I don’t even want the check. The idea is to give everyone $600 and hope for the best. Hope they spend it in ways that stimulate a flagging economy. Hope they don’t save it or use it to pay off some debt like they should. It’s not a government assistance program, it’s not really government at all. We are being handed a modest sum and told to fend for ourselves. It’s individualistic and it misses the root of the problem: the people who need this money the most aren’t getting by on $600 checks. Between rent and the groceries and transportation costs and utilities– the money’s gone before we get it in the bank.

And so I disagree with the program. But, of course, I need the money. And there was constant noise about how May, May would be the month when we’d start to see this small, irresponsible brand of relief. Now I have to wait two more months.

It’s a good thing I listed my father’s address on my tax return. I’d done it because I was moving at the time and didn’t have an apartment yet in Buffalo. As it stands, my check will be even more delayed because my father will have to forward it from Albany. Let’s hope that after these next two months I’m not evicted, with the bank holding everything I own, forced to move back to my father’s to receive my check on time.

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One Response to “600 and Falling: Time Release Check Payments– For Your Continued Economic Hardship”

  1. FMoney Says:

    Thanks for the information. Me this theme too interests. I shall read still.


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