President Bush has signed the multibillion-dollar economic rescue package that means rebates for many American households. Bush called the measure "a booster shot for our economy'' to stave off a recession. Several dozen members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stood on the stage behind Bush as he signed the bill. Congressional leaders are already considering more economic rescue measures, including transportation spending and unemployment aid.
It's nice to know the check will be in the mail, but how much will those government rebate checks really do to kick-start the economy? Under legislation signed by President Bush, millions of individuals and couples will be getting checks of anywhere from $300 to $1,200, and even more for families with kids. The checks will start going out in May. Analysts figure the overall $168 billion stimulus plan will probably keep the downturn from mushrooming into a crisis, but consumers may not be spreading the cash around as much as hoped. Fewer than two in ten of the people surveyed for an Associated Press-Ipsos poll say they plan to spend their checks. Three in ten plan to invest the money and nearly half plan to use it to pay bills.