Site Inspection: You and Your Rebate Checks
It's no secret that many Americans are ambivalent about the stimulus checks they're receiving from the government. (Ambivalent, that is, about how well the checks will jumpstart the American economy. Most are not ambivalent about receiving money in the mail.) But the situation is even more complicated for check recipients who want to spend their rebates on leisure travel. Some might want to go to California (GOOD FOR U.S. ECONOMY), others may well opt for that long-anticipated trip to Italy (BAD).
Or is it really that simple? We've been told often enough that we're supposed to spend the stimulus checks, not save them (VERY BAD), but the government's offered precious little guidance as to what sorts of purchases would stimulate the economy best. For a snapshot of where this confusion has led, you have only to visit a Web site called How I Spent My Stimulus. There, in the Travel & Vacation section, ordinary folks have posted pictures and messages from the trips they have taken (or are going to take) courtesy the U.S. Treasury.
Don't miss the photo of the guy in the bubble bath, partying the night away in Puerto Vallarta (title: "Stimulated the Mexican Economy"); or the postcard pic that Allison from Boston used to advertise her upcoming trip to Fiji; and especially Tiffany from Pittsburgh, whom we see posing in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. She writes:
We spent our check touring Italy! Since I was laid off in January, money has been tight, but luckily we were able to travel with some help from the government! Thanks U.S. government for giving us money to spend in another country!
To be fair, there are definitely a few photos of trips to Vegas and Disneyworld in the bunch, but on the whole, if this Web site is any indication, don't expect our economy to experience much, um, stimulation in the upcoming months.
What's going to happen when that stimulus check lands in your hot little hands? And what's your opinion of the travelers' decisions at How I Spent My Stimulus?
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