The checks are in the mail. Well, almost. Actually, the rebates promised by Washington to stimulate the economy won't begin going out until May, when most taxpayers are expected to receive up to $600 apiece, depending on income, with an additional $300 per child. When President Bush signed the $168 billion economic stimulus bill last week, he called it "a booster shot for our economy" that will ward off a recession. The theory is that consumers will spend the money quickly and spur growth. In addition, businesses will get a variety of tax breaks for investing in new plant and equipment.
It's not clear whether the plan will work, but the White House and a bipartisan majority in Congress didn't want to take any chances with public opinion. They wanted to do something to avoid a crisis, so they aren't accused of inaction if things get worse before the fall elections.