You could write at great length about all the rotten, dumb and irresponsible parts of the tax bill signed into law Thursday – this is tax simplification? — and thousands of people will, for years to come, as we struggle with its many time-bomb consequences.
But one of the good parts of the bill is simple, fair, and welcome. It lowers the bottom bracket from 15% to 10%, for everyone, retroactive to all of this year.
This will save all taxpayers 5% on their first $6,000 of taxable income if they’re single – $300 – or $600 on their first $12,000 if they file jointly.
In part to ‘stimulate the economy,’ checks for those amounts are being mailed out right away – or as close to ‘right away’ as can be managed when you’re talking about 100 million checks.
Here’s when to expect yours:
If the final two digits of your Social Security are . . .
00-09, it will be mailed the week of July 23
10-19, it will be mailed the week of July 30
20-29, it will be mailed the week of August 6
30-39, it will be mailed the week of August 13
40-49, it will be mailed the week of August 20
50-59, it will be mailed the week of August 27
60-69, it will be mailed the week of September 3
70-79, it will be mailed the week of September 10
80-89, it will be mailed the week of September 17
90-99, it will be mailed the week of September 24
My own guess is that by the time the check finally comes, a lot of people will either have spent the money three times over, or will just be sort of drained from anticipating it. Nonetheless, to many it will be welcome.
Here’s what I want you to do with yours:
- If you have credit card debt, take this $300 or $600 and pay down that debt! (Tear down that wall, Mr. Gorbachev! It is the personal-finance equivalent.)
- Otherwise, endorse it over to the Democratic National Committee and send it to me. Think of it as poetic justice.
As the Big Day draws closer, I’ll tell you why and where to send it.
(Those of you who are inspired by the leadership of Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay should, of course, consider endorsing yours over to the Republican National Committee instead.)
Or if you just can’t wait to help – or want to address an envelope and stick it up on the refrigerator door in giddy anticipation – here’s the address:
Democratic National Committee
430 So. Capital St., SE
Washington, DC 20003
Please toss in a business card or a Post-It or something with your OCCUPATION and EMPLOYER, as required by law. (Also, optionally, your e-mail address.)
While you await your Treasury check, you can take some vicarious pleasure in knowing that since taking office, our Secretary of the Treasury – who, like you, will be getting the same $300 or $600 – has, in addition, already made what may approach a $62 million gain on his Alcoa stock, according to a report in Salon. (Alcoa has benefited wonderfully, even if California hasn’t, from the Administration’s energy policy.) Secretary O’Neill may not have had much experience on the world financial stage before being tapped for this hugely important job – he may not be an Alexander Hamilton or a Robert Rubin, or in line to be president of Harvard or Yale when he’s through – but the man knows a heck of a lot more about running a business than I ever will, and he knows aluminum.