Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Not, Want Not

So, what are you going to do with your tax rebate check? Everything I read says that if you're a good American and want to help the economy, you'll spend it, not save it. For some reason, I find this concept difficult to understand.


How in heaven's name do I know if I spent it or saved it? When I first got my check in the mail, I deposited it. I hope that's okay. Or does that mess things up for the economy and tick off Alan Greenspan? Should I have gone directly to the store, signed the back of the check, and gone home with a new DVD player? Where are the government guidelines when you need them?


My wife, who is quite the patriot, was also concerned about this.


"What are we going to do with that $200 we received from President Bush?"


"Well, we're going to New York to see my mother. We could take her out to dinner."


"That's a bad idea."


"I thought you liked my mother."


"That's not what I mean. You were going to take your mother out to dinner anyway, so it doesn't count."


"Okay, we'll see a show on Broadway."


"Again, you were going to do that anyway. It doesn't help the economy unless you buy something you wouldn't have bought if it weren't for the rebate."


"How does George Bush know if I planned to take my mother to see a play or not? How does the government know if I use the 200 bucks to pay my lawn care company, buy pink satin leisure pants, or spend it foolishly on food? In fact, how do I know what I spent it on? When I put that check in the bank, all our money just got shmushed together."


"Dick, if you want to help the economy we need to buy something we would never have bought if it weren't for the $200."


"You mean, we should waste the money."


"Exactly."


"Okay, how about a new set of golf clubs? I just bought a new set, so I don't need a new set. That way we're adding to the economy."


"Do you always think that selfishly, Dick? Why can't I ever buy something I don't want?"


"This is the twilight zone. What do you NOT want?"


"I've always not wanted a beautiful silk scarf."


"You have? I mean you haven't? Look, Mary Ellen, if we're going to buy something you never wanted, it has to be something you wouldn't have bought, even if you wanted it."


"You're making a good point. Tell you what. You take the $200 and buy me something for my birthday."


"How does that help?"


"In 25 years, you've never bought me anything I wanted."