Stimulus Rebates

April 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Millions of Americans will get their economic stimulus rebates starting today. The first wave is going to those who e-filed their taxes and chose direct deposit. Paper checks will be in the mail in May.Rosemary Segal, a single mother of three, said her $1,500 dollar rebate will be helpful, but, "in these times? It's just a drop in the bucket. When it, when it costs you $60 dollars to fill your car with gas."

With crude oil hitting a new all-time high Monday, the cost of filling up that tank is likely to go up.

Segal said she'll spend the money along with millions of others, which is precisely what the government is hoping for.

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody's Economy.Com said, "A hundred million taxpayers are going to get a check. It's going to add up to a hundred billion dollars. That means something to the economy."

A similar attempt in 2001 resulted in about two-thirds of the money being spent in about 6 months.

Several stores are already offering incentives to help you spend, but a new ABC News poll shows that one-third of Americans intend to save the additional money.

"They will give you a 10% bonus on top of it. $300, they'll give you $330 back. This is a gift card to their store so you have to spend it there," said Wendy Bounds with the Wall Street Journal.

But in addition to the one that is in the mail, it's time for a reality check. The rebate, averaging between $300 and $1,200 dollars per household, is expected to stimulate, not rehabilitate, the sluggish economy.

Nearly 8 million people will receive their money by direct deposit this week. Paper checks are expected to start going out on May 9th.


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