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Thanks to several of you who shared your thoughts on the potential economic stimulus package over the weekend. I asked how you’d spend your rebate check, and what you thought of the potential for raising the jumbo cap past the $417,000 level.

Here’s a take from reader CS, who wrote with plans for the rebate check:

I’m planning to put it in my retirement account, because with this on top of the Iraq war spending, Social Security and other social programs will be unable to keep up faster than ever. I have the feeling that Bush & company must be grinning happily at each other when they are away from the cameras, having succeeded in passing another tax cut.

Reader MH sounded similar:

I’ll likely save it until August, when I’ll spend it on a vacation overseas. That’s the problem with a “stimulus”: there’s no guarantee it will be spent the way the politicians hope it will be.

MH added thoughts about the jumbo cap:

I don’t know much about conforming loan rules, but I can’t imagine that Fannie Mae will consider a $600,000 no money down, no-doc, reverse amortization ARM to be “conforming” simply because of loan limits. There has got to be a stricter set of criteria than just the loan amount. Or at least I hope there is. If the government is buying junk loans, it’s going to get really ugly. We need to get the speculators out of the market before prices will stabilize. But if the loan limit requirements will merely allow Fannie and Freddie to buy larger, conventional mortgages with large down payments, I think the benefits will outweigh the risks of propping up a bubble.

Reader BS sent a letter to several lawmakers, including several senators due to consider the stimulus package soon, to share his thoughts. One of the compromises in the agreement struck by the House and the Bush administration was to abandon an extension of unemployment benefits, and BS took major issue with that omission:

I simply do not understand why Speaker Pelosi agreed to jettison those proposals during the talks. Unless it is but another example of caving into Bush’s demands and allowing him to claim credit for something he hasn’t done and that only really benefits those at the ‘top of the pyramid’.

Add to that the lack of immediacy of assistance to the millions of people needing such assistance, (“If the Senate gives quick approval, the first rebate payments could begin going out in May and most people could have them by July”.) and this is a waste of money.

If I don’t find a job, I’ll be homeless by the end of May. And if I do find a job and get a check in July, I’m sure as hell not going to spend the money given my experience in trying to find new employment.

Let’s keep talking about this. If you have thoughts to share, click my name below to send me an e-mail.


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