Mar 20 2008

Your government at work: What $42 million can buy

Sigh. I saw this news story and I didn’t know whether to laugh, yell, or call my elected representatives.

A week or so ago, you might have opened your mailbox to find a letter from the IRS. When I first saw it, I wondered if we were being audited.

We weren’t.

Instead, the letter was telling us that we should expect an economic stimulus check of $1,200 at some point in the future.


Apparently, that notification cost $41.8 million to send to 160 households. Lovely.

Couldn’t they just include that letter with a rebate check, to explain what it was? Or, for people who will receive their economic stimulus check via direct deposit, if they wanted to send a letter, it would be a lot less paper and cost to send it to just those people.

Maybe I’m just cranky, but I feel like that $41.8 could have been better spent.

18 Responses to “Your government at work: What $42 million can buy”

  1. I agree with you completely on this one. I wondered why the letter was not simply included with the rebate check as this would ultimately be cheaper.

    Then they are going to spend a ton more money mailing out the checks to the people who are not receiving direct deposit….more wasted money.

  2. Wow! 41 million!

    At the bottom of the notice it says:

    All individuals receiving payments will receive a notice and additional information shortly before the payment it made.

    So does that mean another 41 million for that notice to go out ?!

    It does make some sense to inform people that there is a check coming with all the mail theft and identity theft going on these days. Apparently they put out the first notice in haste and didn’t have all the info at that time. They have since put out the payment schedule so you can figure out when to expect your check from the last 2 digits of your SS#.,,id=180250,00.html

  3. my hubby got the notice, too. He thought it was a form he had to fill out, and I read and thought it was a dumb and pointless letter. Oh well. I guess they’re stimulating the postal service economy.

  4. Your government at work.
    And some people want these folks in charge of health care?

  5. AUGH. Maybe the government could pay back our national debt of they just stopped mailing us crap.

    @Ron, well the HMOs are doing a bangup awesome job of it, aren’t they? ;) Oh. Right.

  6. Well, if they don’t mail us a letter three months in advance, however will we spend that money using our credit cards before we actually get it?

    No wonder the economy’s in such a mess! Although I seriously cannot wait for my check. It should be over $3000, although I haven’t gotten my letter yet.

  7. You know..when we got our notice..I too was a bit upset about it. First, considering all the play it got throughout the entire media (TV, Radio, and Internet) why did they think they needed to waste more money sending these things? Secondly, why the heck do they need to send these “rebates” anyway? We borrowed the money from China in order to boost the American economy by buying products made in China? Seems to me the only one’s benefiting are the Chinese..unless we all do the smart thing in put in our savings account!

  8. I won’t be receiving a “rebate” because I was claimed as a dependent for ’07, but I got the notice in the mail from the IRS. Way to waste money by telling me something I could have just easily figured out online. I wonder how many other ineligible people also received the notice.

  9. Welcome to America, pretty sad, huh? I can’t imagine how any of this is going to fix the economy.

  10. I got the mail, too. What a waste. Yes, it definitely can be better spent. This “economic stimulus” plan is just another scheme to pump $$$ into the bankers and govmt, because the government is BORROWING all that money to send us. What idiots!

  11. Ain’t government grand???? It’s amazing the waste that comes out of DC! You would think that people with so much education would know a smidgen(love that word!) more about finances and being good stewards! Argh!!! Makes me want to scream sometimes!

  12. This country frightens me- I can see why our economy is in such a slump. This is so ridiculous!

  13. We wrote a similair article on our site about the same thing, and then I got my “letter” today. Honestly, doesn’t the federal government have the where-with-all to just email us?

  14. Hopefully this was the only round of letters they’ve mailed out.

    I’m sending in my tax return on Monday and I’ll be pissed if money is wasted sending out letters.

  15. They were hoping the letters would be received in time to influence people to vote Republican in the primaries. “Ooh, the Republicans are good, they send us money!” This is NOT a slam, I’m sure the Democrats would have done the same thing.

    P.S., living in PA all my life, I didn’t know until this year that people in other states weren’t limited to voting for only their registered party in the primaries.

  16. Oy…I could not believe they did this … well, yes I could. But it’s so infuriating.

    Such a ridiculous waste of money – like they need to do things like this to justify their existence. Couldn’t they just save that money and tack it on to our “rebate” (which is another ridiculous issue in itself).

    Great blog. :)

  17. I haven’t even recieved my letter. What gives?

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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