What Do You Plan On Doing With Your Economic Stimulus Package Check?

From downtown Montgomery to the workplace in Prattville, River Region residents are counting up the ways how they'll spend their rebate checks. Congress approved a massive economic rescue package and President Bush is expected to sign it.

Kathy Healy is going back and forth on whether to buy 4 new tires or reduce her credit card debt. She's leaning toward the latter.

"I've gotten in trouble in the past and I just want to reduce it a little," Healy said.

Lucy Hale is getting the same amount.

"I really need furniture," Hale said.

$1,200 for Erin Robinson and her husband.

"We plan to reduce our credit card debt and put some in savings," Robinson said.

In all the rescue plan is worth $161 Billion for taxpayers and businesses, a plan with one goal in mind; rejuvenate the economy.

So what about all this money? The government would very much like for you to take that check and buy something like a plasma screen TV or a new set of wheels. One noted local economist says you may want to think long and hard about this one. This is a one shot deal.

"If there is no credit card debt, save a little and keep some in a rainy-day fund. You have to treat it accordingly," said Keivan Deravi of Auburn University in Montgomery.

For some there is a general concern the rescue plan will add even more to the national debt which is already hovering around $10 trillion dollars.

"I just wonder if this is healthy for the long term," Healy said.

Deravi adds "Congress is only doing what it can for the short term."

Long term, short term no one seems to know for certain whether the stimulus package will stimulate anything.  In one study there is still debate whether a rebate in 2001 did any good. What is certain is folks like Healy, Hale and Robinson are sitting and waiting for that all important check the government says is in the mail.

Perhaps the best part of the deal is taxpayers won't have to pay any taxes on it in 2009, according to Deravi.

The stimulus economic package also includes an additional $300.00 per child under 17 years old.