About those Biden Bucks

The stimulus handouts of the Covid era have gotten the politicians started on sending out tax credits as checks and bank deposits. It's a bipartisan game now. Today it was the Democrats' chance to pat themselves on the back for sending a few hundred to parents of children under 18. Whoopdee doo! And they'll be repeating the payout every month for the rest of the year, at least. The politicians were falling all over each other to get in front of the cameras and bleat.

In the old days, the parents would have had to wait until February or March to get that money. Now they get 1/6th of it every month. According to the Ron Wyden types, this wonderful feature is going to End Child Hunger As We Know It™.

One problem with the new system is that the IRS is in charge of it. They've been known to, ahem, screw things up just a wee bit from time to time. For that and various other reasons, some people getting the checks (or bank deposits) today aren't going to be eligible for the credit when they fill out their taxes. And so they are going to have to pay some or all of the money back, maybe even with interest, to the IRS. There will not be a lot of bragging by the politicians on that day.

This unfortunate reality is different from the Covid stimulus, which (as I understand it, at least) no one has to pay back unless the check was forged.

If you got a child credit payment today and you know you aren't going to be entitled to it, can you stop the remaining monthly payments from coming? Yes, but you have to register on an IRS website that asks many nosy questions about your identity, and runs your answers through a private company. It's a slog of a half hour or so, even if you're texch-savvy and have all your documents handy. And if you file a joint tax return with your spouse, you both have to do it.

We really do need to stop using the IRS as the all-purpose federal welfare and public policy agency. One of these days, the crazy machinery Congress is creating for the tax system is going to collapse.


  1. When I worked at Sequent Computer, the IRS was a big client. They had the oldest and most out of date systems of all Sequent customers. It was pathetic. And I would bet it is even worse now.

  2. So now that two people in a house have to work to pay the bills, they toss parents a little money instead of getting rid of the Federal Reserve (a private enterprise) that has destroyed the buying power of the dollar. Since the Fed took over in the dead of night in 1913, the value of the dollar is now down to something like 5 cents.


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