The economic stimulus rebates are a secret tax on teenager.

The economic mysteries of daily life.
May 31 2008 7:45 AM

A Secret Tax on Teenagers

You get your rebate check today. Your kid pays the tax bill later.

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That suggests that as consumers and taxpayers, we aren't fooled by these games of three-card Monte. Are we fooled as voters? Alistair Darling obviously hopes so.

Tim Harford is a Financial Times columnist. His latest book, The Logic of Life, will be published in paperback on Feb. 10.