Americans could see another stimulus check in the mail

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

It would be the largest economic stimulus package Congress has yet to consider. Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is behind the plan.

House democrats are talking about infusing up to $300 billion into the American economy.

"I don't think there's any way we can really get a handle on it. It's a little bit like talking about how far is it from here to the sun. It's simply, the numbers are getting so big, they have no reality, and that's dangerous," shares Patricia Frazier from Michiana. "My question is, we talk about $50 billion here, a $100 billion here, where does that money come from? It doesn't seem to be real money. It seems to be a promissory note for my grandchildren."

"Clearly the economy needs to be stimulated. I'm concerned that the last stimulus package seemed to have little effect," says Kent Hull, also from Michiana. "I think we need a much greater and more coordinated effort to basically deal with the housing crisis which is the fundamental problem that we are faced with right now. Until we can stop these foreclosures, we're not going to be doing anything to solve the problem."

The plan includes some money for roads and bridges. Food stamps and unemployment benefits would also receive some funding. And most Americans would get a tax rebate check like they did in February.

"My sense is we tried the first one already, and it didn't help very much," Nelson Mark, an economist at Notre Dame. "What we saw was there wasn't a big sustained effect on consumer spending. In fact, what a lot of people did with their tax rebate was that they saved it. If you're saving it, it's not going to go into the economy."

"We would put it back into the economy and it would end up helping everyone in the end if it was to come to us," says Heidi McCullough, a local resident, who supports the rebate checks.

The White House said Tuesday President Bush will not consider a second stimulus package, but is open to good ideas.

Lawmakers return to Washington November 17th.

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