The White House and the Democrats in Congress have agreed a $150bn (£76bn) economic stimulus package that will offer tax rebates to boost growth.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would act on the deal "at the earliest date, so those rebate cheques will be in the mail".
Some 117 million US homes will receive a rebate of up to $600 for individuals and up to $1,200 for married couples.
Washington is moving fast to try to avoid the US falling into a recession.
So... what's that supposed to do? Stimulate spending? Are we robbing Peter to pay Paul like we did in 2001, with the $300 checks? Worked so well then, right?Where have they been while working stiffs have been struggling to get by on wages which don't keep up with the rate of inflation? Now that the super rich might be taking a hit to their bottom line (and let's face it, they can weather it if they need to), suddenly it's Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congress to the rescue?
I would advise everybody receiving one of these checks to pay very close attention to the fine print on this one. I'll be truthful: I don't honestly know whether this is actually a true rebate or simply an advance on your anticipated refund like it was in 2001. Back then, if you cashed your check thinking, "ooh, free money", you were in for a surprise come tax time: that $300 was coming out of your normal refund. Or, if you were one of those who don't try to have big refunds from the IRS every year, you would then have to pay that in. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Be careful, is all I'm saying -- especially those of you with children in low-income households. This "economic stimulus" will not find it's way back to you again. That's the problem with this whole plan: businesses have, of late, been experiencing huge gains in this country. The rich have gotten so rich that they literally don't know what to do with all of their money. All they know is that they couldn't possibly afford to pay any more in taxes. Certainly not to rebuild New Orleans, and certainly not to have properly reinforced the levies in the first place. And they most definitely cannot spare that money on higher wages for all the workers who are making them rich in the first place.
Something has to give, and when it all falls apart, can we count on the rich to do right by the rest of the country and give a little in order to prevent mass starvation and rampant violence? Nah, they'll just withdraw to their gated communities and pay Blackwater mercs to guard them.