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Second Stimulus Check For Obama 2009 Economic Stimulus Package?

Published 2/4/09 (Modified 3/9/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Tax Cuts, Social Spending, and New Jobs - But What About Stimulus Checks?

A second economic stimulus package for 2009 is on the way and from the looks of things in the news, it appears newly minted President Barack H. Obama and his Democrat controlled House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are determined to ram the lucrative spending proposals through the legislative meat grinder no matter what, much to the chagrin of skeptical and deficit-weary Congressional Republicans.

As Congress debates the wisdom and intricate details of the current version of the 2009 economic stimulus package, it's clear that something needs to be done very soon to jumpstart and save our suffering economy before we spiral into a full blown economic depression. The unemployment rate is rising fast and everywhere you turn, there seems to be a never ending stream of unemployment and layoff news being announced everyday. The stock market has already shed more than half of its value since its peak in 2007, and billions to trillions of dollars worth of wealth have already been eliminated from the economy. Major banks and financial giants like Citibank, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, once the financial pillars of our economy and the lifeblood of our credit industry, are now clinging onto U.S. government bailout money for dear life - hoping to still be in business at the end of every quarter.

With its almost limitless resources, it's clear the federal government must intervene somehow and put this broken economy and financial system back on track to prosperity. But the question is - what should be the government's role in all of this? More specially, what method should the government take to effectively jump start the economy to life again and ease the suffering on Main Street and Wall Street? Should the 2nd economic stimulus package continue to focus directly on sparking consumer spending by featuring a second round of free stimulus checks to consumers - perhaps for amounts much higher than the previous 2008 economic stimulus checks? Or should the plan this time around focus more on longer term indirect measures like job creation, infrastructure investment, and tax credits?

Current 2009 Economic Stimulus Package Focuses Less On Stimulus Checks - And More On Job Creation, Infrastructure Projects, and Tax Cuts

Before Barack Obama was elected president and during his 2008 Presidential election campaign, he supported implementing additional economic stimulus measures in 2009 - and even whispered at the rumored possibility of a second round of stimulus checks for taxpaying consumers in 2009 before tax day.

Whether a second stimulus check was a real possibility or not, the mere mention of a second round of stimulus payments and the prospect of getting more free government money certainly made my greedy ears perk up, but much of my optimism and enthusiasm were quickly dashed when Obama finally came into power. Almost immediately, he signaled a different stimulus proposal shift that favored a more multi-pronged approach of using tax cuts, tax credits, and pet projects, rather than relying on the 2008 economic stimulus check tactics of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Instead of just distributing free bailout money to the masses and hoping the funds will naturally trigger a huge surge in consumer spending activity to put the economy back on its feet again, Obama's stimulus package focuses more on middle class tax cuts and massive increases in government spending to fund various infrastructure investments, green energy projects, financial aid to states, and social education initiatives - designed to create jobs and put people back to work.

The current 2nd economic stimulus plan laid down by President Obama for 2009 is a whopping, super-sized $825 billion economic rescue package containing staggering spending initiatives and ambitious tax cuts, and sprinkled with dozens of pork-based proposals and suspect social initiatives within hundreds of pages of legislation. The current package contains $300 billion worth of aggressive construction projects designed to improve the country's���� infrastructure and create millions of new artificially generated jobs in areas like health care, renewable green energy, school upgrades and repairs, and transportation related improvements. The package also contains about $200 billion worth of state social assistance provisions designed to help keep state sponsored health and unemployment programs well funded - to offer a measure of cushion for those people who have been recently laid off due to the economic down turn. Along with the state assistance portion are other safety net type provisions to help fund and keep afloat local food stamp programs, food banks, state sponsored health care, and governmental health insurance plans for those suddenly unemployed.

The other primary feature of the current Obama economic stimulus plan is the series of tax cuts and tax credits offered to qualifying individuals and small businesses. Under the tax cut portion of the stimulus deal, small businesses suffering losses because of the economic downturn and recession would receive more favorable tax loss write off terms.

For individuals, the current 2009 economic stimulus package offers pretty generous tax cutting proposals. The plan highly favors low and middle-income working families since the idea is that these income groups are more likely to spend and invest their tax savings rather than save the money. In terms of stimulating the economy, increased consumer spending is good, and consumer saving is bad. Nicknamed the "Make Work Pay Credit" by President Obama, the proposed tax credit is supposed to reach close to 95% of workers, and benefit even working tax filers without any tax liability - typically very low income workers. Here is a basic overview of the stimulus plan's Make Work Pay Credit:

  • Middle Class Tax Credit: Under the plan, there would be a tax cut amounting to $500 a year for individuals, and $1,000 for couples. The economic stimulus would be issued in the form of a tax credit, and would be limited to those making $75,000 or less ($150,000 or less for married workers filing joint tax returns).
  • Low Income Tax Credit: For low income taxpayers, there would be an increase and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide a refundable tax credit for low income assistance. The expansion would affect even working tax filers without any actual net tax liability - typically very low-income workers - and allow them to potentially qualify for free stimulus tax refund credits.
  • Child Tax Credit: For those who have children, a temporary increase in the child tax credit would result in larger tax refunds.

Should The 2009 Economic Stimulus Plan Be Re-Written Or Re-Packaged To Contain Major Provisions For A Second Economic Stimulus Check?

It's too bad the eventual 2009 stimulus plan probably won't contain another round of hefty stimulus check payments to ordinary consumers like the ones that were dished out last year. While the 2008 stimulus tax rebate wasn't much (only a few hundred dollars in my case), some additional government handouts in higher dollar denominations would still have been greatly appreciated by individuals like myself and put to good use. Plus, as an American consumer who embraces the virtues of capitalism, I feel I would have made a better decision for myself as to how best spend my portion of the stimulus money pursuant to what's in my own best capitalist self interest.

Overall, I think President Obama's administration is probably right in its revised efforts to focus more on job creation, offering greater tax cuts, and enhancing safety net protections to help suffering Americans survive the economic downturn for the long term. Offering greater financial assistance to struggling state unemployment programs (many on them on the verge of running out of funds), and stimulating growth with more job building projects is a proven way to stabilize the markets and improve consumer sentiment. However, I'm still a bit disappointed that the President and Congress have not explored the prospect of an enhanced second stimulus check further.

At least for now, President Obama's administration seems to have given up on the idea of using government stimulus checks en masse again to jump start the economy. Instead, Obama's advisers have indicated that they would prefer searching for viable ways to get government stimulus money into the hands of American taxpayers quickly that would not require or duplicate the tax rebate checks of last year. Apparently the $150 billion spent in 2008 in the form of stimulus payments to consumers proved to be quite an economic failure and pointless exercise of futility in terms of actually stimulating the economy to any extended degree. But perhaps the reason it didn't work properly the first time around was because too little money was given out to substantially change consumer spending habits to forcibly inject money back into the economy again (simply compare the $150 billion spent last year to the $800 billion-plus worth of spending being proposed for 2009).

Perhaps The Problem With The First Stimulus Checks In 2008 Was That They Were Too Little To Make Much Of An Impact

I have mixed feelings about the prospect of yet another around of direct stimulus checks to consumers. On one hand, I understand that there are many struggling American families getting hammered by higher living���� costs, and suffering from the ills of unemployment and layoffs. However, I'm not entirely convinced that the idea of handing out free money to families will really solve all of our economic woes and jump start the economy at its core. But yet I still wonder if perhaps we gave up on the idea of stimulus checks too early and that maybe, the concept is still workable. Maybe the amounts issued in 2008 were simply to small to change anyone's spending habits as initially intended - after all, only about $150 billion was spent in 2008, when the current 2009 economic stimulus proposal's already ballooned to a whopping $850 billion.

I know when I received my tax rebate stimulus check in early 2008, the check only amounted to a few hundred paltry dollars - not really enough for me to go on a greedy spending spree. So instead of spending it and doing my part to stimulate the economy, I ended up doing what most people probably ended up doing with their tax rebate check - putting the money in a bank and depositing it into a high yield savings account. Of course, my plans for the money would likely have been very different if the amount wasn't something low like $300, $600, or $1,200, but rather something as high as $10,000. If the stimulus check issued to me was indeed worth upwards of $10,000, I would very likely have saved a small portion of it but ended up plowing a sizable portion back into the economy by spending it on major expenditures like a new wide screen plasma TV set, new home appliances, or even a new car.

What If The Entire Economic Stimulus Bailout Package Went Towards 2nd Stimulus Check Payments? Would This Actually Stimulate The Economy?

Almost all polls among ordinary American consumers show overwhelming support for a second stimulus rebate check. After all, who would really oppose it? Who would be opposed to receiving free stimulus check money. Think the prospect of getting a second stimulus check worth as high as $10,000 as a consumer bailout is impossible? Well it's probably unlikely, but it's not out of the realm of financial or budgetary possibility, at least based on the fiscal numbers alone.

On CNN Money, a very interesting question was proposed in regards to the bank bailout and economic stimulus packages. If instead of bailing out these credit crisis-stricken banks (who probably deserve their fates due to the risky mortgage bets they greedily placed into subprime loans), we just gave all of the bailout money to taxpayers in the form of a massive consumer cash stimulus. How much would we each get if the entire current economic stimulus proposals were issued out to consumers as a second round of stimulus check payments? The second important question to ask is - would this actually stimulate the economy for the necessary extended period of time to get it going again?

To arrive at the figure, CNN Money took the total amount of the bank bailout package of $700 billion and added that to the proposed 2009 economic stimulus spending estimation at the time of $819 billion - resulting in a total bailout package of $1.519 trillion (that is quite a staggering figure). Dividing that number by 156.3 million, the total number of U.S. workers who filed federal income tax returns in 2008, that number equaled $9,718.49 per U.S. taxpayer, or roughly the equivalent of a juicy $10,000 cash bailout payment for each qualified tax payer. Now that's stimulus with oomph! With $10,000 in our pockets in the form of instant windfall economic stimulus checks, it's very likely that the tremendously high amount would be sufficient to incite a major change in spending activity than a measly $600 check ever could.���� People would probably go out and actually start stimulating the economy by buying cars, purchasing TV's, paying for college studies, and going on vacations.

As a dose of devil's advocate inspired reality though, while it's very possible that $10,000 checks in every working taxpayer's hands would probably send the economy skyrocketing, it's also possible the growth could be short lived and not actually get to the true root of our current economic problems. The massive surge in consumer spending probably won't do much to solve the lingering fundamental issues surrounding our current credit crisis, which centers around a failed banking system and a failed home mortgage lending market. But then if repairing the banks and injecting confidence back into our home mortgage and credit lending markets are our primary objectives - I'm not sure the current economic stimulus proposals by President Obama, which are focused more on tax cuts and job creation and most prominently, aggressive social spending programs - will actually accomplish those goals. At least for stimulus checks, they could be able to help alleviate some of the immediate economic suffering being felt by ordinary consumers - many of whom are fighting to stay alive, with a great deal currently resorting to desperate emergency fund measures like 0% credit card offers, balance transfers, and risky high interest payday loans.

I'm curious as to everyone's opinion on the wisdom of a second stimulus check (if it ever happened). What's your take? Would substantially higher stimulus checks of $1,000, or possibly even as high as $10,000, actually encourage you to spend the money (thereby stimulating the economy) instead of merely saving the amount or using it to pay down debt? How would your decision compare to how you actually spent your previous 2008 tax rebate stimulus check?

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392 Responses to “Second Stimulus Check For Obama 2009 Economic Stimulus Package?” 

  1. Tracey says:

    Who really pays for this bailout money? My children? My children's children? Where does the madness end? Buckle down, pay off debt, work harder.

  2. Lori says:

    Give us a 2nd stimulus check, but make it worth our while. Enough to catch up on bills, get current on loans, and a little extra to make big purchases. Between daily expenses on the rise, and the cost of medical and lack of insurance willing to pay, a big chunk would make everyone a little happier and maybe eager to spend. Listen to those of us who are in the Middle Class Workers.

  3. BLUELIGHT422 says:


  4. 2nd Stimulus Check - Yes We Can! says:

    I wonder if President Obama and the government actually track these blog posts...but I hope they hear our voices and actually listen to the will of the people.

    We desperately NEED a second stimulus check and not another round of free bailout money for corporations and businesses that made bad business decisions.

    Bluelight, you're right...consumers do power the economy and I totally agree with you.

    We need a second 2009 stimulus check from Obama! I hope if this second economic stimulus package doesn't contain payment checks, perhaps the third economic stimulus package (which I think is inevitable in a few months) will contain one.

  5. Robin Sharpe says:

    The $900 I got last year paid for my over expensive home that I can barley afford any how for my three kids. Yes if there is a second check let it be worth while. My ex never pays child support so I guess I can more count on that likely hood than have our own Government help us little people

  6. super_psycho_mom says:

    I agree with Bluelight, but $1 million will never happen. If, like the article says, there are 160 million taxpayers (I am rounding up), you would be talking about $160 TRILLION -- or about 189 times the current proposed amount of the entire stimulus package.
    I wanted congress to send out the bank bailout to Americans in the form of mortgage vouchers; using the same numbers it would have equalled approximately $4, 375 per taxpaying American. We send them into our mortgage companies to stop foreclosure, or pre pay for a few months and the banks still get the money, we all keep our houses, those who are not behind take the money that they would have sent their mortgage company and spend it therefore boosting the economy. (If you own your house outright then you can cash your voucher in after showing proof of ownership at any bank, and you can use them as downpayment if you do not already own a house for up to 5 or so years if you can at least pay 10% down). Then this second stimulus bill might not have even been needed! But instead they gave the money to the banks directly so that everyone could get their Christmas bonus. Wall Street is the only place that I know where you can be in charge of a company that fails and walk away with Millions of dollars in your Golden Parachute. I wish I got rewarded for screwing up, my teenage years would have been a lot more profitable!

  7. super_psycho_mom says:

    I didn't answer the question in the article!

    YES we need another stimulus check! Here is how I think that itshould pay out:
    $1500 to every american who filed a 2008 tax return, another $1000 per household that claimed a mortgage deduction, and $1000 per child claimed on the 2008 tax return. For our family that would be $8,000 total which (budgetted correctly) would keep us afloat for another year while the rest of the economic stimulus package was implemented (new jobs, new lending and credit regulations, etc. as outlined in the president's press conference Monday night). We could continue to make the monthly payments and continue to pay down our debt. (i also tried to email the White House but could not get all of my comment into 500 characters).

  8. self reliant says:

    Holy crap it's amazing how pathetic you people sound. Why not just yell out, "I'm a socialist!"
    You cry about your mortgage payments being too high. Why did you buy a house you couldn't afford to begin with?
    Because you could. You live in America. Now it's your responsibility to work hard and pay for it.
    Do you really think $10,000 each will solve your poor financial management skills? 90% (if not more) of you will be right back in the same position in months saying, "maybe the 2010 stimulus check should be more."

    When did this country decide it was the governments job to take care of us? It's absolutely PATHETIC.

  9. don / california says:

    "WOW" self reliant, one would have a hard time yelling out & being heard...BECAUSE OF YOUR OWN YELLING ! How long & hard have you worked to make such a statement ? I'll make a wild guess...probably not to long or hard because somewhere in time you were carried by someone who provided for you financially. Now you think you've got your sh*t together...HA ! Where do you get your facts of the percentage of people (90%) that don't fit into your bracket ? The 10% or less of those you have respect for only says that you deserve what needs to be said : your friendship to foe ratio is on the low side. The only thing PATHETIC here is...someone or something in your household gets kicked once to often.

  10. self reliant says:

    Well let's see...
    I bought a house my wife and I could afford under the worst circumstances, not the best. Could I have bought a house for $300,000? Sure, but I knew if (and when) interest rates went up, I wouldn't have been able to manage.

    When it comes to cars I went chose to be responsible as well. My wifes 07 stickered for right around $17,000. Would we have liked a more optioned or luxurious model? Of course, but we couldn't afford it. Oh and I drive a 21 year old truck. I learned how to maintain it so we only have 1 car payment.

    We have 2 kids (another on the way) that are always well fed and clothed. They have everything they need, and plenty they don't.

    We cut quite a few unnecessary expenses (no cable, went without cell phones for a couple years, cut eating out to once a month).

    I've been working for 18 years, my wife for a bit more. We have no cedit card debt. 2008 taxes showed a gross of just about $34,000. Still managed to start a retirement plan.

    So there goes your theory. Where did your "I can't do it without someone elses help" come from? Do you really think so little of your ability to take care of your family? Or did you really buy into Obama and his socialist views?

    Was I a little harsh? Maybe. But maybe some people need to hear a bit of reality. You have complete control over your life and how successful you are.

    Thanks, but as far as a handout goes? No thanks. I can take care of my family myself.

    We are all CREATED equal. What we choose to do from there, is the difference.

    Oh and don in liberal socialist haven CA. Great assesment. Too bad it isn't just about working long and hard. It takes having the sense to say, "no, I can't afford that big screen TV/$300,000 house/new lexus (or in your case should I say prius?).

  11. BLUELIGHT422 says:


  12. Sarah says:

    Hello Comments! Another Stimulus check will be stimulating the economy. That the figure is "too low" doesn't fit into MY brain.

    The $300 Stimulus check actually did afford me to get a few things done. Goods and Services....to save some of it is now BAD?

    Paying down debt is BAD? It seems we are talking out of both sides of our mouths!

    A second Stimulus check would also afford: a. An elderly person to get at least half of a boiler of oil for the winter...b. A student that book that is just NOT there this time in the budget..c. A family to get that tire or pay the power bill.

    UNEMPLOYMENT realistically only pays a certain percentage of the original paycheck. Reality check please....and stimulate the CONSUMER. No money equals no goods and services being used. Everyone is involved. $400 per check sounds better -- counting the gas rising once again. You have to GET to the store before you buy anything. The stimulus also would include some entertainment such as dinner or lunch out....!

  13. LA says:

    Ok--I have seen a lot of post(s) on here and am completely blown away! Give me, Give me Give me! Do you not have any pride? How about the conviction of working hard and helping yourself?
    Do you not understand that greed is what has gotten our country into the hole we are in? Do you not understand that throwing money into a bottemless hole will never fill it?
    Do you not understand that Osama is a Marxist socialist that will if he lives try his best to turn this country into a socialistic country? All of his ideas indicate just that--and as scary as it is he keeps reminding us that he won and bless his heart inherieted a mess from Slick Willie back in 1999!
    Do I agree with all of the CEOS and the companies that are falling--absolutely not! But do I think that muslim should dictate how much money they make? NO--that is the door to how the GOVT will try to dictate to the Americans in every aspect of their lives.
    I think that the govt has no business in free enterprise--that is what seperates us from the rest of the world--!
    We need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get to work! Maybe there are not jobs making $25-$30 an hour but McDonalds is hiring--stop spending money you don't have--be fiscally responsible. Including Osama, since he would like to dictate to the CEOS how much they can make, why doesn't he start by example and say for the next two years not take a salary--or maybe a $1 per year salary? A good leader leads by example--something that muslime severly lacks.
    In short, throwing money that generations from now will be in debt for is not the answer!

  14. Unemployed and Sad says:

    I have been unemployed for some time now since I was laid off from my job back in Spring 2008....times are hard. I have a family to support and have been trying to find part time work...it's not easy. I also have some medical bills that have been racking up.

    Not everyone is as fortunate as you Mr. Self Reliant.... I am glad we have a new President in Obama...but why isn't he doing more to help us? The 2009 economic stimulus package was just passed but I am doubtful it will really do much to help me right now.

    An Obama stimulus check for 2009 would be greatly appreciated though! Do they even read the e-mails we send to the White House???

  15. Rick B. says:

    I'm disabled. I have only been this way for about 5 years and i'm not sure how long i'll stay this way. I can't work and i live from month to month on a fixed income that i get from the goverment. I worked hard to put in for my money that i get, but it's not near enough that i get if i were working, so my thing is this...How does the goverment expect people that are disabled to live off money that is hardly enough to pay the rent , bills, food, transportation, so on and so forth? I think WE, the disabled need just the same kind of help like other people would get. I just think we are treated alot different because we are disabled. Help us out to will ya President Obama!!! Don't our votes count to??

  16. Cindy says:

    I would like to know where does everyone think the money comes from? Did anyone hear about Iceland's government collapsing due to financial problems? Are we far from that if our government continues to "bailout" everyone and their brother? Has there been any talk of tax credits for corporations who bring their plants/warehouses/call centers, etc. BACK TO THE GOOD OL' USA? Isn't this alot of the underlying problem? Does anyone look to see where there items of purchase are made at anymore? I've tried buying nothing buy USA made products and it is becoming harder and harder! If we recieve another check, and people buy goods to stimulate the economy, I think we will only be stimulating China's economy. Which why not, they are having problems also. Also, a lot of the money earned in this country is now being sent to Mexico for families there to survive, and isn't being spent here anyways. But I imagine China still gets some of it. Would I like another check? No, but I won't refuse it as it will break me even with my tax bill, but do I think it will help? It didn't help last year, so I can't imagine why it would this year. But I also don't think having the banks loan money quicker and easier will help either, as this is alot of our problems now. Everyone was able to get any loan they wanted without any "collateral" or proof of income, etc. and now we have people not able to pay mortgages, hmmmm, makes you wonder who got us in this situation, the banks (all 100 hundred thousand of them...sarcasm here) or the government (aka Obama - ACORN).

  17. super_psycho_mom says:

    Okay, I will try not to sound toooo defensive here, but I do not expect the government to solve all of my problems and of course I am concerned about where the money is coming from. But there are people, like my husband and me, who have worked hard, paid our taxes, done our best to be responsible and are STILL in trouble! We moved to take a job and have been unable to sell or rent the house that we left behind in another state and as a result we have increased our credit card debt while paying rent in one state and keeping up mortgage and utilities on the house that we own. The house has lost over $40K in equity and is now worth less than what we owe on it. We use birth control -- diligently, I might add -- yet in spite of that, we still got pregnant four (yes, F-O-U-R) times in seven years, and finally had to borrow money in order to pay for a tubal ligation after number 4 came this Summer because the procedure is considered "elective". We had over $10,000 in medical expenses this year alone and that is not including the $3,000 pre-tax insurance that we purchased through my husband's work. We do not qualify for any home owners assistance program because we are not tryingto stay in our home in order to have a place to live. I would go back to work, but I cannot afford to -- do you know how much child care is for 4 kids full-time?!!! My point is, I am NOT the only American who is struggling and it is NOT because I am irresponsible or only want a hand out. I just think that if the government wants to pay out hundreds of billions of dollars in order to "bailout" the economy, then I (as a taxpayer) ought to get the money first and distribute it to the banks and creditors myself instead of them getting it directly and me not benefitting at all.

  18. super_psycho_mom says:

    And by the way Mr. Self-Reliant, you need to come down off of your high horse a minute and think about how long you would remain "self-reliant" if you lost your job, or had to relocate to keep your job, or had an unexpected illness or accident. But as long as you don't want anything from the stimulus package, why don't you just donate it to your church or your charity. We were doing great until we lost our job and had to move from the house that we had been living in for 7 years to a totally different state. It took us about 3 months to burn through our emergency fund and yet we have been able to cut corners, eat a lot of rice and beans and PB&J in order to NOT fall behind on our mortgage until just this month -- 16 months after moving. Could you be self reliant enough to pay mortgage and rent in 2 different states? Or maybe you think that the responsible thing to do would have been to give in and let the house foreclose a year ago in order to stay out of further debt. We drive cars that were new 10 and 15 years ago, we have a console television (the kind that sits on the floor in a wooden cabinet that your parents had in 1978) -- we don't even have cable, we do not go out to eat, my husband and I have not had a night out in over a year (and then it was only because our parents were in town and we had free babysitting), and we have to routinely have the cashier at the grocery store remove items so that we can pay the bill. And we used our last "stimulus" check to pay bills, not go on some shopping spree.

  19. shelly says:

    i got fired from my job and cant colect unemployment and cant get food stamps cant even get a job i need a another check to survive on

  20. maria ramirez says:

    The money sent to us was not enough. Good idea for all of us stuck in the middle. I had to spend ours in medications which we cannot afford, but need to survive. We cannot afford to save it.

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