In the last several years my household has been the beneficiary of a substantial amount of government stimulus money.
First there was the $600 check (each) under President Bush, then we had the Make Work Pay $800  ($400 per person for two years), we received $8,000 free and clear for purchasing our first home , and we also received $1500 for replacing our central A/C and Heater  which broke shortly thereafter.
Now we are receiving the social security tax deduction , which is approximately an extra $160 in our pockets each month for the next year.
All in all, our household has gained $14,220 for things we were going to do anyway: work, purchase a home, and replace our A/C.
Right Place, Right Time
You could say that for the majority of this money, we were at the right place at the right time. After all, we had just gotten engaged and it is typical for engaged couples to purchase their first home (+$8,000), and we found ourselves in the unfortunate position of a dead A/C unit in Houston, TX within our first year of homeownership (+$1500).
But I did not write this article to boast about all of our new cash; rather, I am fearful of how much it might hurt in the future as the government figures out how to dig itself out of the hole it is in. The reason we accepted this money was because these programs were all ready passed and if it were not my household receiving the extra money, it would be my neighbor’s.
Stimulus Impacts on Debt
However, I am so anxious about the monetary future of this country that I wanted to research how much each of these stimulus programs has added to our nation’s trillion dollar debt .
Please note: Everyone received different amounts of stimulus over the last several years, so I am going to base this on my own household.
|Name of Stimulus||Potential Amount Received||Estimated Cost of Program|
|Economic Stimulus Rebate (2008)||$600 per individual||$152 billion |
|Make Work Pay  (2009 and 2010)||$800 per individual over 2 yrs.||$116.2 billion  over 10 years|
|Home Buyer Tax Credit  (2009-April 2010)||$8,000||$22 billion |
|Cash for Clunkers ||$3,500-$4,500||$2.9 billion |
|Cash for Caulkers  (2010)||Up to $1,500 per household||$6 billion |
|Social Security Tax Reduction  (2011)||From 6.2% to 4.2% (depends on earnings)||$112 billion |
|Total Added to the Debt:||$511.1 billion|
How do you think our country will climb its way out of debt? Have you received a substantial amount of stimulus money over the last several years, and it so, how did you use it?