In order for the government's economic strategy to work, Americans and their tax rebate checks must soon part ways. That's because the plan is to give people extra money in the hopes they'll spend it, and thereby stimulate the economy. But will it work?
Otelia Green is doing exactly what the federal government hopes to see. If a tax rebate check comes in the mail, Green and others say they'll be hitting the stores.
"I will put some in savings and go shopping, and maybe just go on a little trip," said Green.
Sandra Crowse knows what she'll do if she gets a check.
"I have a one-year-old, so probably go out and buy her some clothes 'cause she loves to shop. And I would buy stuff for me."
Buying stuff would stimulate the economy. However, plenty of people say they have some other ideas if extra cash comes their way.
"Pay bills," said Edward Cowart. "More than likely pay bills. Take the money and pay bills."
Arthur and Liz Garibell agree. Liz said, "We have two children, so we would use it to pay off things rather than buy new things."
Whether they intend to spend, save, or pay bills, few people held out much hope the economic stimulus package would do much good.
Bridgette McCorvey said, "I don't think it will harm it. I don't think it's going to do any good or do any bad. "
"It'll actually help the private citizen some," said John Pagett. "But as far as the government is concerned, the best thing for the economy is to stop spending more than we have and for Bush to go ahead and admit he's wrong and to quit and get him out of there. "
For Edward Coward, living in South Mississippi is more expensive since Katrina.
"We're faced with high [costs] to get a home, to rent. Everything went up, the cost of living. And that effect will just be a small trickle. It will help. It's nice to get some extra money from the government, but long term, no. No."
"I think it will. I hope it does," said Sandra Crowse. "We don't need a recession."
Several people who said they intended to save or pay debts with their tax rebates said it was because they fear times may get lean if there is a recession.