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The governor and state legislative leaders have reached a budget deal. It will include a $350 check for households earning between $40,000 and $300,000. The check will only go to those households with children. The rationale is middle class families have been squeezed and need help.

I don’t like this for a few reasons. The state doesn’t have cash lying around to hand out. The rebate checks will cost $350 million. There’s no question getting an extra $350 is nice, but it’s not the kind of money that makes or breaks household finances.

I’m also put off by the rebate only going to households with children. Children undoubtedly cost a lot of money. But people made a choice to have them. Many of those people live in households with two incomes. I’m a single woman who lives alone and has not been treated kindly by the recession. I’ve also been squeezed. I worry about the future. And my taxes will now be subsidizing the rebate checks for a whole lot of people who make a whole lot more money than I do, even subtracting the cost of kids.

Before you ask, I don’t whine about my tax dollars supporting daycare subsidies or schools or any number of programs supporting children. Those programs benefit individual children, women, families and society at large. If we didn’t invest in our children, we would pay dearly later on.

But a rebate check is not that kind of investment. This is something else – and it has nothing to do with kids.

23 Responses to Where’s My Check?

  1. March 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm David Nevin responds:

    I earned WAY less than $40k, and the largest single item in my budget is PROPERTY TAX. Where is MY CHECK?

  2. March 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm Reggie Henderson responds:

    Sounds like a stupid attempt to buy votes. Why not just better fund programs there are for kids? Although the best use would be to reduce the deficit.

  3. March 20, 2013 at 11:36 pm Duke Illuminati responds:

    In a prior life when married, my ex-wife could not have children. It was not pleasant feeling experiencing the perceived ‘alienation’ by society and government in making overt distinctions and ‘preference’ between people with children and those without. Government bases their economy on mortgage holders as taxpayers, including the commitment of predictable cash flow from these long-term obligations to fuel government’s spending. Government’s desire for the family unit is driven by economic necessity primarily.

  4. March 21, 2013 at 12:19 am Cheryl responds:

    I love that they treat ‘middle class families’ and ‘families with children’ as synonymous, and only consider those with children deserving of extra money in their pocket, as if they’re the only ones who would need it.

    I agree with Reggie, the money should be put toward funding programs for children. Give money to cash-strapped school districts.

  5. March 21, 2013 at 12:39 am Orielly responds:

    Gee did you have the same response when Patterson gave the money to those on welfare..think that wasn’t a vote grab?

    How about keeping the money and lowering state spending? Then give a rebate to all who pay taxes.

  6. March 21, 2013 at 3:00 am Lance R. responds:

    The last paragraph is spot on. The udder card is being cast once again.

  7. “It will include a $350 check for households earning between $40,000 and $300,000” If a household is earning $821 a day ($300,00 per year) they don’t need the $350. How about sliding the scale down a bit?

  8. March 21, 2013 at 5:36 am Tracy Nalewalski responds:

    What garbage. I may not have a “child” but I have a 25 year old son who lives under my roof and support still because he has college loans and not a high enough income yet to move out on his own…..what is the logic that says someone with a 12 year old needs $350 more than someone with a 25 year old (my child eats more) 🙂 Or as Rachel says what about a single person family, certainly they’re feeling the crunch too with only a single income coming in. These types of handouts are never good because they only go to certain groups which leaves other people out (usually the people who will pay for it via higher taxes) and right now we need to REDUCE the budget not run it up even higher. What a dumb, dumb, dumb thing.

  9. I’m a single father that makes under 40k. If these checks go out guess I’m it getting one. Really $350 is a waste of time and resources. Spend that $350 million on things to improve the city. Here’s an idea use it to start drug testing all welfare recipients.

  10. It sure didn’t take Mario’s kid very long to go from “reformer” to a full-fledged member of the “gang of three.”

    This is the same crap we cot throughout the Cuomo I administration, the last term under Pataki and the Spitzer/Paterson reign of error.

    Since incumbants are generally bullet-proof in the general election because of gerrymandered districts, the presumption here is the checks will show up in voters’ maixboxes about three weeks ahead of primaries for assembly and senate members to help them fights off insurgents from their own parties.

  11. March 21, 2013 at 6:53 am Ginny Maier responds:

    Ugh, awful. This is stupid policy on so many levels, for the reasons you stated. But it is nice to know how much legislators think is required to effectively bribe parents of minor children for their votes. Less than $1 per day!

  12. March 21, 2013 at 7:14 am Animule responds:

    Love it! Paterson did the same thing for Welfare recipients (remember the “school supplies” money that ended up buying flat screen TVs at Walmart?), and the press was okay with that.

    The idiocy of over-taxing the population and then “giving back” some of the lucre to certain segments of the population to score political points is something New York State is expert at. It’s ridiculous, but people keep voting these idiots in. You get what you pay for.

  13. Our government has no clue these days. ‘Throw them a bone. They’ll forget how much they’re getting screwed over and it will make everything better.’ Our government is completely out of touch with society and it’s getting worse. A complete government overhaul is needed. Clean house and elect brand new leaders across the board.

  14. I think this is a generous act of the government. They target “middle-class families” because single people, poorer people and (read) less-educated people are less likely to vote. It isn’t that they don’t care; they just don’t need single people and poor people as much. I have no idea what people are talking about with former Governor Paterson’s aid for school supplies. Anyone have actual PROOF that the majority of the money went for “flat-screen TVs” instead of school supplies, or is this just good old-fashioned racism?

    • Perhaps not all the Paterson/Soros bribe money went to the purchase of flat-screen TVs, but the overall sentiment is correct.

      The windfall was promoted as a way for parents to stock up on school supplies and back-to-school clothes, but there were literally no restrictions placed on usage.

      ATMs in local supermarkets were repeatedly depleted of cash in the week following the deposit as EBT cardholders suddenly discovered their good fortune (pun intended).

  15. I agree with you Rach, I don’t have kids either. I think this is just feel good political nonsense. It’s just going to be a drain on a system that cant afford it.

  16. DRATS! I guess I dont get any… Oh well.. Never planned on it. I don’t like the “where is my check” crowd.. as if we deserve it. The issue to me is that we should NOT be giving one out at all – not that different groups also think THEY should get one… No one should – Clearly the way we are doing things isn’t working

  17. Yeah, what everyone else said. This is stupid. But if the government is going to give money away, it should go to low-income families, not people making six figures a year.

  18. March 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm Orielly responds:

    Steve – The stories and reports were numerous of welfare people spending their windfall money from Patterson on non essentials. Is that racism to point that out? No, And no one here mentioned what “race” the welfare people were that mis-spent that money. In fact more whites and the majority of welfare people are white, as a total number. But for you thats a racist comment. So who is the racist here?

    Apparently there is good old fashion racism and new “cool” racism. Guess you found your niche.

    The money should not go to low income, that’s again just redistribution. If any thing it is supposedly extra money the state has and it should go back to those who paid taxes.

  19. The democrats strategy….buy votes. It makes no sense to take your tax money and give CERTAIN groups money for NO reason other than to gain favor. Unfortunately, it is a proven successful technique. That is sad. I blame the media. You will NEVER see this on the front page or on news programs. I also predict the D&C editorial page will LOVE this. They may question the cap limit. Sad….

  20. March 22, 2013 at 8:30 am TechnologyProfessional responds:

    Folks, this is like every other part of our tax code and spending system. This is what redistribution looks like.

    The whole point of a progressive tax system is that we do not treat all income neutrally. The alternative is to treat income in the abstract – every dollar earned is just another dollar, to be taxed at whatever the rate is, regardless of who earned it or how it was earned.

    But we rejected that idea long ago when we decided that some dollars are not to be taxed, others are to be taxed extra, depending on who earned them and how. Married are treated differently than singles, high earners differently than low earners, farmers differently than industrial workers, those who work for government differently than those who work in the private sector.

    This is progressivism. We’ve had it for as long as any of us have been alive. We think it is a good thing. Until we suddenly see one teenie weenie little bennie that goes to the wrong people – evil people – parents!

    BTW, this is not choosing to give money away, this is choosing to take less of it. That’s why you had to have a minimum income to qualify. There had to be something to take less from. Rachel’s attitude, that government doesn’t have extra money to give away, demonstrates a total lack of understanding of where money comes from. They will always have more money to redistribute, so long as the government is playing with other people’s money that it can take at a legislative whim.

  21. March 22, 2013 at 11:05 am John Moriello responds:

    “Until we suddenly see one teenie weenie little bennie that goes to the wrong people – evil people – parents!”

    One teenie weenie little bennie?

    What planet do you live on? I’m getting drilled from every direction subsidizing other people.

    Do you not comprehend the idiocy of the government bestowing gifts on the $275K earner with a 17-year-old child at the expense of a $35K family with a couple of 10-year-olds?

    Your attitude is representative of the socialist fringe that’s accelerating the demise of this state.

  22. Family will need the money to support the multi million dollar indoor soccer stadiums, like the one proposed in Victor.

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