So Congress, worried about the economy, passes a $168 billion "economic stimulus package" that the President signs, giving tax breaks to businesses and rebates to taxpayers in an effort to stimulate spending and conversely the now-faltering economy.
Perhaps if Congress had done their homework, they'd have realized that there are far better areas they could have put that money that would do much more to jump-start the economy. With history to back it up.
Tax breaks to some businesses, especially small businesses (which are the lifeblood of the economy to begin with) may be beneficial. And while every taxpayer enjoys getting money back from the government, polls are already showing that a vast majority will be using the rebates to pay down debt or put into savings, instead of spending it as Congress intended. Sorry, Congress/Mr. President, but a much better location to target that $168 billion would have been infrastructure.
Take a look around you. Our public infrastructure is crumbling. Electric grids are overloaded. Water and sewage facilities are old and in need of replacement, as is thousands upon thousands of bridges and miles of pavement. People are sitting in traffic congestion due to lack of capacity and lack of other options.
Even using just 1/3 of that $168 billion figure for infrastructure would have given astounding results. History has long shown that investment in public infrastructure pays hefty dividends down the road (pun intended). Not only would it create construction jobs (with several ancillary economic benefits as a result), but investing in the transportation infrastructure would give motorists and travelers time and money benefits....less time on the road (meaning more time with family), less gas wasted (meaning less money spent on gas...money that they can then spend elsewhere), and better ability to move goods and services (meaning money savings for businesses).
It's a win-win situation. And it's completely UNSAT that Congress failed to consider it.