No, this is not an adult posting.
When the Feds announced the 'economic stimulus' package I was appalled. Here we are, BILLIONS of dollars in debt with a devalued dollar and an economy in the hospice. So, what could the government do to turn things around? Tax oil companies that are making record profits? Raise cigarette taxes? ... um, start bringing troops home from the Middle East?
No, no, no. Let's think like the typical American consumer; lets call her Georgina. Georgina has an expensive hobby. She doesn't treat it like a hobby, though. See Georgina has OCD, so she thinks her hobby is more important than feeding her kids and paying the light bill. However, Georgina isn't making a lot of money right now. She's just an lowly employee at a financial institution (UTU - nited Treason Unlimited, Knoxville, Kansas).
Georgina is addicted to a virtual reality game called "Let's Spread Democracy". She somehow managed to spend more than she made last year on her hobby, mostly by maxing out her credit cards and convincing her relatives that, once she wins the game, she'll get a slew of Frequent Gaming Points which can be exchanged for discounted gasoline and a Nobel Peace Prize.
Georgina's children are complaining that their allowances just aren't going as far as they used to. Since Georgina has maxed our her credit cards, she decides to use her position at UTU to get herself a platinum card. She then takes a cash advance on the new platinum card to give all her children a special bonus allowance. Unfortunately, now Georgina has even more debt, and no one (and I mean NO ONE) will lend Georgina a plug nickel.
OK. I realize that it may be a hokey analogy. However, I do not think that the best way to 'stimulate' our economy is to allow our government to go deeper in debt so that some people will buy more useless crap that they don't really need. The rest of us will either pay down some of our own obnoxious credit card debt, or will sock the money away for a rainy day.
As for the 'unexpected' aspect of this post's title: We just got our letter in the mail telling us that we were getting a four digit check back. By my calculations, we made too much last year to qualify. However, I'm not fool. I will not be sending it back. With gas prices rising the way that they are, I plan on ignoring that electronic deposit for now. (Though we may buy some small bit of useless crap that we really don't need ... all in the spirit of economic stimulus ... using no more than 25% of this ill-gotten windfall.)