Saturday, May 10, 2008


  • Krugman seems to be showing quite a bias towards Hilary Clinton. No big deal I suppose, but I've certainly looked to him as one of the more intelligent and objective observers out there.
  • With classes over, I'm trying to decide on what to concentrate this summer. Be safe, and just do what I'm equipped to do? Or start this new project I've got in mind for which I'll have to learn new stuff and which may not work out?
  • These so called rebate checks from the government's stimulus program... in what sense are they a rebate? The letter I got from the IRS called it something like a "stimulus payment" that doesn't need to be repaid when one files 2008 taxes. So, unless I'm missing something, it's just the government giving me money. (I don't consider a rebate on 2008 taxes since the payments can be more than one has paid in tax).

    Update (5/30/08): Here is a FAQ on the so-called "rebates" which mentions this naming issue:

    You have a good memory and, like the 2001 rebates, this really ought to be called a "prebate" because it is a prepayment of a special tax credit created for 2008. Because the point is to stimulate the sluggish economy, though, Congress didn't want Americans to have to wait for their money until they file 2008 tax returns next spring. So, the prepayment was authorized and the "rebate" misnomer was born.

  • Chad notes one of the funnier problems with students and uncertainties, that being their religious faith in all things digital. I find teaching uncertainties totally frustrating. Some (neh, most) kids will never get it...and what's going on in their bio and chem classes? It seems that those classes don't even mention uncertainties.
  • Via Gizmodo, an article at Popular Science on experiments to model brane inflation with a BEC. Somehow it transitions to black hole analogues.
  • What's new with sonoluminescence? Not my field (which field is it?), but can some physics blogger out there give us the latest? It seems I've not heard anything new for a few years.


Wired Educator said...

For your consideration:

An eBay pop art charity auction to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital, and honor Nimi Arkani-Hamed

Douglas Natelson said...

Angry, surely your withholding for 2007 exceeded your "stimulus payment", unless (a) you're grossly underpaid in your faculty position, or (b) you've got *huge* offsetting deductions.

Anonymous said...

What Doug Natelson said.

In fact, I'd go further. It makes sense to think of it as a rebate on taxes ever paid (or overpaid, according to the fiscally conservative philosophy on which the payment is based). Your comparison of the rebate with the amount withheld in 2007 isn't germane unless the rebate is to be paid every year. I wish it were, but I think it's not.

Angry said...

Sure, sure. This is a bit beside the point, but according to the IRS, someone with just $3K of earnings gets their $600. So it seems conceivable that certain very low wage earners are getting back more than they've paid or have ever paid.

But the point is that there's a bit of propaganda here. This stimulus is not like what happened a few years ago where we got something like $400 which was simply an early payment that we had to subtract from any refund we received in the subsequent filing of our taxes.

No this is basically a straight forward *payment*...not a refund or credit. It's just basic pandering.

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