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Stimulus Package: A $150 Placebo?

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

President Bush and Nancy Pelosi have made a deal -- or at least the framework of a deal -- to put a $150 billion shot in the arm to the economy.

The House and Senate will tweek it for the next couple of weeks but they promise it will be on the president's desk by Feb. 15. I'll believe it when I see it though, as it is an election year, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that our elected officials will want to be able to take credit for the millions of checks that will soon be flying out of the treasury.

What we should be wondering is if the so-called "stimulus package" really will do what it's designed to do. A lot of people I've spoke with say they sure could use the money, but they are going to use it to pay bills not buy stuff. Kind of defeats the purpose, right?

Washington is waking up to the mortgage crisis, and the suffering of working folks. And I'm thinking the stimulus package is a $150 placebo; it's not a real cure for what's ailing the economy.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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