I thought that talks of a second stimulus check for Americans had been tabled due to recent economic woes, but today I read that once again another stimulus check is being considered.
Momentum is building for a fresh dose of economic stimulants to boost the country out of the doldrums — perhaps by putting more money in Americans’ pockets. The White House said Friday that President Bush was open to some sort of action after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned the slump could drag on without the extra bracing tonic.
“We’re continuing to have conversations with members of Congress, and we’re open to ideas that they would put forward … that would stimulate the economy and help us pull out of this downturn faster,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said around noon Friday, shortly after Bernanke endorsed the need for a fresh and “significant” round of government action.
A couple of hours later, Bush seconded those remarks, but he also said in a more optimistic tone: “I have heard that people’s attitudes are beginning to change from a period of intense concerns — I would call it near panic — to being more relaxed.” He commented after a closed meeting with business leaders in Alexandria, La.
If congressional leaders and Bush — who has been cool to more federal stimulus spending given already exploding budget deficits — were to hash out an acceptable package, it would require a special session after the Nov. 4 elections.
If an agreement can’t be worked out, the effort probably would be taken up by the next Congress and the next president. Democrat Barack Obama has strongly advocated more government stimulus, while Republican John McCain is keeping his options open.
I know from the searches and number of comments that this blog has generated from posts about stimulus checks that a lot of people are wondering if they can count on another stimulus check this year. A lot of people are counting on a check to make sure Christmas comes for their family.
I will tell you right now, I wouldn't count on it. When you get your hopes up for government help, and keep looking to the politicos to give your pocketbook a bump, you'll never get ahead. The politicians will find new ways to disappoint. They'll give a stimulus check with one hand, and raise your taxes with the other.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and fellow congressional Democrats are pushing a package that could cost as much as $150 billion. Some economists, however, have advised them in recent days that to have a real impact, the total would have to be far larger, as much as $300 billion.
As part of that package, Democrats want to resurrect a $61 billion House-passed measure that included about $37 billion in public works spending, $6 billion to extend jobless benefits, $15 billion to help states to pay their Medicaid bills and $3 billion in food stamp assistance for the poor.
The Democrats also are considering a second round of tax rebates to follow the $600 to $1,200 checks most individuals and couples got earlier this year. That money, going directly to consumers in hopes they would spend it, could push the price tag much higher.
The price tags keep getting higher and higher. $150 billion turns into $300 billion. Tack on another $60 billion for public works, jobless benefits and other government programs. But hey, we'll get a $600 check – so it's all ok, right?
Where does it end?
What do you think of another stimulus package? Is it a good idea? Should it include stimulus checks to taxpayers?