Other Voices: Planning for a little ‘extra’ cash from the government
Trust me. I am not one to turn down some extra money these days, so when I heard about the billions of dollars that might go out to Social Security recipients in checks of $250, I was happy. I was intrigued. I felt troubled.
I was happy for obvious reasons. I was intrigued by the fact that billions of dollars could be found to support this endeavor. I was troubled by the intention of the money – to replace the loss of the Social Security annual cost of living raise.
I found that strange – why would I be troubled about the potential of receiving $250 of “extra” money? Better than nothing! The fact that this information appeared on the news right after the story of the bonuses to be paid out to our Wall Street folks … hmmm … that could have raised the level of sarcasm in my reactions.
I allowed myself to think of what could be done if the government took the entire “billions” and perhaps created a job or two that might benefit everyone. Realizing that isn’t the way it is going to work, I sat and figured out how I could apply those 250 extra dollars hopefully, soon to be in my bank account!
Tax bill arrived the other day; the $250 would cover 20 percent of the first installment. The propane guy came by to fill the tank; the $250 would pay some of the bill. We had wood delivered; the $250 would cover half of that cost.
I could pay my supplemental medical insurance premium for three months. It could cover the first quarter of the first half car insurance premium, at least for one of the cars.
The homeowners insurance was almost $900. I could put the $250 away for next year’s bill. I could take the $250 and stock up on sale items – toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoo, dish soap, water.
I just thought of another use. The wells out here are not exactly flowing with tons of water; at $19 a foot, maybe I could have the well dug another 13 feet!
I guess you could call these choices “stimulating the economy.” I would call it survival. But if stimulating the economy is the latest buzz word for having a few extra bucks, works for me.
When I had finished my sarcastic tirade, I was suddenly jolted by the fact that maybe, just maybe, we should invest that total “billions” of dollars being handed out in piecemeal with Wall Street!
The market went over 10,000 recently. They are doing so well that the bonuses will once again be grand. Maybe if we put our $250 together as a group of Social Security recipients, we could reap the rewards like the big guys on Wall Street. What a concept!
And then I came to my senses. Whoa, I had to stop for a moment and endure the reality of it all. Wait a minute – I did do the Wall Street thing, I did have a 401K, I did have retirement money, I did invest in real estate. I even had an investment company “managing” my money. And sure as dirt turns to dust, as Dr. Phil came to mind, I had to ask myself that question that he will ask people that think everything was going great: “Sooo … how is that working for ya’ll?”
Speaking in the past tense can sometimes be sobering. Sobering enough that I realized I better figure out which bill to pay with my soon-to-be, maybe, if the president convinces others, extra
Gail MacLachlan lives in Grass Valley.
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