For example, here's an AP story:
AP: "Tax Rebates Could Be Ticket to Vacation"
Ah yes ... vacations. Exactly what we liquidity-challenged (read: debt-burdened) folks need to get ourselves back on track. It's not what Suze Orman suggested, of course. But what does she know, anyway?
Not nearly as much as the tourism folks, apparently.
But what about polls suggesting that folks will put their chunks of STUPID money toward debt and savings?
Morse cites a November study by three economists from the Federal Reserve Bank, the University of Nevada-Reno and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School examining consumer habits from a similar though smaller rebate in 2001. The researchers tracked activity of 75,000 credit card accounts.
The study found that many consumers used the rebates to pay down credit card debt, just as pre-rebate surveys suggested they would do. But three to nine months later, they used their newly freed-up credit to buy even more. On average, they spent 40 percent more than the original amount of their rebate.
"If consumers use the 2008 tax rebate in a similar fashion as the 2001 rebate study suggests, consumers will spend more of the (2008) rebate than originally planned, generating opportunities for boosting 2008 travel demand," Morse's report says.
"We are sure hoping that he is right," said Leon Downey, chairman of the Southeast Tourism Society and executive director of tourism in the Smokies tourism community of Pigeon Forge.
Morse's report created a buzz last week at a Southeast Tourism Society meeting in Asheville, N.C. Hotel and travel destination professionals from 12 states — from Little Rock, Ark., to St. Augustine, Fla. — left with plans to order up ad campaigns and design getaway packages aimed at the rebate audience.
Here's that Fed study, for those of you who are sick enough (as I am) to actually be interested in this stuff:
Federal Reserve: Let's Save $10 ... Then Go Spend $14