Just in case you wondered. Faced with an economic crises caused largely, IMHO, by the inability of the general populace to pay the debts they have now, the Fed's response has been: to make it even cheaper to borrow money! They've now dropped the fed funds rate by an entire percent, from 4% to 3%, in 2 weeks - four months ago it was 5.25%! That's almost a 50% drop!
As for the bipartisan stimulus package we heard so much about, that was before it got to the Senate. The senate thinks the elderly should get the rebate too - oh, and we can't leave out the rich people... We should leave out the rich people. Actually we shouldn't do this at all, it will have minimal effect and is an extended exercise in CYA. And if the Senate is allowed free rein by the party leaders, we won't do it, because the House won't sign off on the changes. So maybe the Senate's insistence on rewriting the package is a good thing.
The House's idea wasn't bad, actually - apart from the fact that the money won't get to people soon enough to make a difference, and that it won't go to new spending anyhow. I can't recall where I read this, but someone did a survey on the lines of "if you had $X hundred right now what would you do with it?" The general assumption is that poor people spend and rich people save - the response to this survey was that something over 40% of poor people said they would pay down debt with it, and another 20% said they would sock it away. None of which would do a thing for the economy.
But the Fed and its rate cuts - it's the old saying: to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.