Rebate Effect on Economy

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 being signed by President Bush Wednesday, 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.


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