Will Rebates Do the Trick?

The amount of the proposed tax rebates keeps getting larger. The latest figures are $800 for individual taxpayers and $1,600 for families.

Bush has gone down the tax rebate road before. Back in 2001, he added refunds of up to $300 per individual and $600 per household as a recession-fighting element of the tax cut plan that had been the centerpiece of his 2000 campaign.

The administration is examining boosting those amounts this time around to up to $800 for individual taxpayers and $1,600 for families.

Congressional aides to lawmakers participating in talks with the administration said the White House would like to eliminate the 10 percent income tax bracket for one year and quickly get the savings to taxpayers through rebate checks.

Will a one-time shot in the arm to taxpayers be enough to boost consumer spending and forestall a recession? Or will all that money end up going to pay down the massive piles of debt everyone seems to have built up?

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