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The Patriotic Duty Of Blowing One’s Stimulus Check

May 9, 2008

The other day I saw an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:  The economic-stimulus rebate: Save it or spend it?   Having not yet received my check from Uncle George, I decided to read on.

America needs help. Sue Wagner, an economic patriot, is answering the call.

The Brooklyn Center telecommunications worker used her $600 check — part of the $168 billion national economic-stimulus package — for a spa that was installed in her back yard Tuesday.

I want this country to be stimulated,” Wagner said.

That’s exactly what government officials want to hear. Checks began to flow from Washington, D.C., this week, part of a program to lift the economy out of the doldrums by boosting consumer spending. Every taxpaying adult is supposed to get $600, plus an extra $300 per child for families. But as officials await the impact of the rebates, a Pioneer Press online survey showed fewer than a third of volunteer respondents would spend the money as officials hoped.

It got me thinking.  Should I blow this thing?  And if I do, will I feel patriotic?

I sat and thought about all the things I could do with an extra $600, and my practical side kept telling me that I should put it on a gas card to combat the ever-soaring gas prices.  Then I thought I should just dump it into my mortgage.   Heck, there are probably a thousand things that I could have done that would have been financially safe and reasonable. 

As I was arriving to work the next day, I got out of my 2000 Cougar, walked toward my building and looked back to confirm that I had armed the car alarm.  As I looked at it I was reminded how old the car was getting, and that it wasn’t looking as good as it used to.  It had a crack in the fiberglass front bumper valence, and my carbon-fiber hood was looking cloudy and discolored (having been subjected to the elements for a few years).  I decided right then and there what I was going to do with that check:  My Cougar was going to get a makeover.

So, I contacted my body shop and scheduled the appointment.  I told the guys while I was there for the estimate that this was a stimulus check expense.  They smiled and a few of them told me that work had been pretty slow lately and that they really appreciate the business.  Apparently people had better things to spend their money on than repairing cosmetic damage on their vehicles, or so I guessed.  I handed over the keys and told them I’d see them in a week.

Well, I recently got the car back, and I gotta say that I couldn’t be happier.  I figure that I killed a couple birds with one stone.  I had fixed up something that had been bugging me for quite some time, and used my chance to stimulate the economy.  I guess the added bonus is that I get to advertise it all over town as I drive around:

Ahh…patriotism!

14 comments

  1. Chen,

    That might the most noble and patriotic act I’ve ever witnessed a liberal make. 🙂 In fact, in this one particular case, you probably will have been even more patriotic than your’s truly. Of course, the fact that this act is considered patriotic by “the left” just goes to show how …oh, I won’t go there and ruin your thrill.

    I figure I’ll be stimulating the Japanese economy. Seems I’ve got to purchase a tablet PC for med school and so far, the brand that is most appealing is Fujitsu. On a humorous side note, I remember I happily paid $5,000 for a PC with a 20MB hard drive and a 5 1/4 floppy diskette. Now I bitch that I must buy a computer 20+ years later for half that price and has about 100,000 times the computing power, the most gorgeous screen I’ve ever witness, pivots, touch screen, finger print security, etc… while weighing in at 3.5 lbs.

    America doesn’t know how good it’s got it.


  2. Of course, the fact that this act is considered patriotic by “the left” just goes to show how …oh, I won’t go there and ruin your thrill.

    Uh huh. Yea. It’s those symbolic things that makes a true patriot, I suppose. You know, wearing a flag pin, placing hand on heart during the anthem, and saying “God Bless America”. Actually doing something that directly effects the country’s well being should never be confused with patriotism. How liberal of me.


  3. So on a serious note Chen.

    They smiled and a few of them told me that work had been pretty slow lately and that they really appreciate the business.

    Seen it, heard it, felt it do you think the program is a good idea ?


  4. General,

    In your own flippant style, you’ve managed to show your fatal flaw:

    Actually doing something that directly effects the country’s well being should never be confused with patriotism. How liberal of me.

    Real patriotism doesn’t require anything in return – it’s called personal sacrifice. That’s something you and your progressive friends don’t understand. Exactly what did you sacrifice? You got your car painted so I wouldn’t beat my chest too hard.

    Patriots, on the other hand, do it for the benefit of others…like that military your ilk frequently disses.


  5. doesn’t that engine kill polar bears? nice going, chen.


  6. Interesting point, dead rabbit. Although I probably only put around 6k miles a year on the cougar, giving it a carbon footprint of around 3 Annual Tons of CO2 Emitted. Not too bad. About 1/3 less than an SUV.


  7. Tex I recommend getting a PC without a tablet and getting a separate tablet instead. That’s what I am doing, for university purposes as well. There is the Wacom Graphire bluetooth tablet I am looking at to combine with my laptop, that way I have more choices. Tablet PC’s are very limited in range.


  8. “Patriots, on the other hand, do it for the benefit of others…like that military your ilk frequently disses.”

    Clearly, someone has never served in the military.


  9. Patriots, on the other hand, do it for the benefit of others…like that military your ilk frequently disses.”

    Clearly, someone has never served in the military.

    by Miguel May 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Clearly, a military-hating slacker living off the government dole.


  10. Alfie-

    Seen it, heard it, felt it do you think the program is a good idea ?

    Well, assuming that everyone did what I did, I suppose it would be.


  11. Well Chen, I just can’t not share this pic with you if you’re discussing spending outrageous amounts of money for vehicles in acts of patriotism. I don’t think the suburban mom who actually drives this Hummer really took a big financial hit when buying it, but don’t you just love the permanent markings of showing the family patriotism? This damned thing alternately gives me the giggles and moments of anger, but I rarely can go more than a few days without seeing it.

    OTOH, I doubt if the reign of brand new XL SUVs out here will continue. I think it’s over at last.

    Tex, what do you think of that Hummer, eh? I just prefer showing some class in my patriotism…or in general…


  12. Lex,

    Tex, what do you think of that Hummer, eh? I just prefer showing some class in my patriotism…or in general…

    Well, this may shock you but I really wish my Conservative crowd would recognize that in purchasing something like this, we are in our own unique way aiding and abetting the enemy. Yep, I have a problem with it because there is no doubt in keeping demand increasing, a bunch of less well-to-do Americans are getting hurt on account of it.

    However Lex,

    There’s always the overriding factor that if it irritates you and your crowd, there has to be some hidden meaning for good. 🙂


  13. Well Tex, I’m a bit old fashioned. It is not considered proper to wear the flag, nor to throw the design around in goofy ways. Also, this is just tacky IMHO. Not that new money isn’t guilty of being just that and in spades.

    The trouble Tex is that you are obsessed with categorizing me. I know that makes for easier commenting fun, but it’s just not true to life and furthermore I believe that this political self-identification as well as political vilification along stark lines that ignore the grey area in between (better for the pundits and gets more votes, eh?) is frankly destroying this country. I write of it often.

    The other note on that one, Tex, is that when I was writing all pissed off about 9/11 NO one would even believe that I was not a “neo-con”. I even had a funny graphic of it up at the IBA site. Had I come here and someone visited my old pre-purge blog, you’d be agreeing with me and Chen’d probably be maligning me as a wingnut, even though I’m an environmentalist Obama supporter–that doesn’t mean I belong lock stock and barrel to any crowd though Tex, that’s the trouble.

    Hell, I’m a half-Greek Greek-a-Billy from Georgia who grew up with a very Southern accent and have plenty of relatives who call me “the little dark one” and spend their time goin’ huntin’. I’m the Strange Girl Without a Strange Land, so pigeon-hole me if you want, but like many before you, I just see someone who’s painting me too broad. Ahh, what the heck, you only know me from comments and posts at LGFWatch. It’s fine by me, Tex.


  14. Nah Lex,

    I’m not pigeon-holing anyone and you will just have to trust me about this: there is nothing about you that obsesses me because I can virtually guarantee you don’t have anything I need or want. Not even your vote and I believe I’ve made it abundantly clear not your approval.

    I do have a grand time gigging one that believes she’s just a tad bit brighter, a tad more worldly, a tad more wholesome than the rest of us.

    In fact, you would be hard to pigeon hole because you seem to flutter in the wind like a fallen leaf; apparently your core beliefs being conservatives are hypocrites, whitey is racist, gays and muslims are innocent and oppressed, and Charles Johnson is a dork. Okay, we can agree on the last one.

    IMHO, you’re just the mirror image of C.J. and equally as blind. But I will give you this. At least you are brave enough to venture out of your comfort zone. I don’t think C.J. would hold up too well in a real fight if his radio interviews were any indicator.

    Very painful to listen in…grating, in fact.



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