Saturday, July 12, 2008

Consumers exposed: What you really did with your stimulus checks

I saw the same stories over and over again. Reporters shoved their microphones in your faces and asked: "How do you plan to spend your stimulus checks?" As if you'd all had a meeting and planned a standard response, you answered: "I'm going to pay down some credit card debt" or "I'm going to put it in the bank for emergency expenses." Almost all of you expressed disgust at how out of touch the president is. You said it would take more than a measly $300 handout to give American families some disposable income.

Well, guess what. You're a bunch of liars. As soon as the money hit your mailbox, you went to Wal-Mart to buy bikinis and giant TVs. You stimulated the economy alright—the Wal-Mart economy. The retail giant enjoyed a record 5.8 percent jump in June sales. To tip the scales in its favor, Wal-Mart provided, and continues to provide, free cashing of your government windfall checks in all its stores.

I was incredulous about your spending spree, so I asked the Madame if she would stop by a Wal-Mart and snoop in people's shopping carts. Turns out, she didn't even need to go inside. She found a crumpled receipt on the ground in the parking lot. Imagine my delight when she dropped the evidence into my In Box. I have posted a copy of it for your perusal—click on the image to enlarge.

It's too late for some of you, but if your $300 is still burning a hole in your pocket, allow me to offer some suggestions for what you might spend it on:
  • Your child's education.
  • Your cat's education (most are notoriously bad spellers)
  • A donation to your local fire department, whose services you'll need when you set your house on fire burning junk mail and dog feces next winter to save energy.
  • A local homeless shelter, whose services you'll need after firefighters are unable to save your house.
  • New tires you will need for the van you'll live in after the homeless shelter kicks you out and you try to survive on Wal-Mart wages after you are laid off from your current job.
  • 900 packages of ramen noodles.

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