Periodically, but with increasing frequency, someone leaves a comment on the Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck blog where it’s obvious the writer is ticked off at his or her inability to receive maximum benefit from some new government incentive:

Just yesterday someone wrote of his frustration caused by an inability to receive the full recovery rebate credit due to a sizable severance payment.  (There is some irony there.)

Someone else was upset he didn’t qualify for the 2009 $8,000 first time home buyer credit – the one you don’t have to pay back – because he bought their first home in late 2008.

Of course, those who purchased their first homes before April 2008 are upset they don’t qualify for the 2008 $7,500 first time home buyer tax credit (interest-free loan) that those who bought in late 2008 can benefit from.  (Incidentally, those who purchased their homes from 2006  through early 2008 are far more likely to be further under water than those who will benefit from the credit. So, I suppose, they have a gripe.)

Whether it be the first first time home buyer credit, the 2008 economic stimulus payment, the 2009 recovery rebate credit, the second first time home buyer credit, the new 2009 economic stimulus payment (WOO HOO! thirteen bucks), there’s plenty of money being thrown at Main Street.

Yet even those who do benefit on Main Street are complaining that their take is a pittance compared to the amount of money being thrown at Wall Street.  Even small businesses are upset, and, as a result, there’s going to be a whole bunch of new money thrown at small businesses in the form of loan guarantees.

Whenever a government arbitrarily picks winners and losers according to theoretically completely objective criteria, people who barely fall on the other side of the line are bound to be upset.  Those who benefit are, of course, happy (until they realize that the money they receive is really that of their yet unborn great-great-grand children who will be stuck with the bill). I can’t imagine any government receiving wide-ranging support for so many extremely expensive initiatives.  Furthermore, their actions could get in the way of equilibrium.  Within the housing market, for example, many non-government experts believe that the only way buyers will rush, and they surely will, is if home prices drop far enough.

Well, those are my thoughts. What are yours? Which government initiative seems particularly promising?  Totally unfair? Both?  Don’t hold back, now.  (You haven’t so far.)

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>