Yes, I've heard the news of a proposed "economic stimulus" package, that is supposed to include a $800 - $1600 check from the government. But whenever there is a check "from the government", we have to realize we tax-payers are just writing a check to ourselves, and having to pay for accountants in the process.
Keep in mind that the "Bush tax cuts" are set to expire in 2010, and since congress has refused to make the Bush tax cuts permanent; that means we have a scheduled tax increase coming in two years. What it comes down to is congress is willing to send us a check now, only to take it back with interest when our taxes go up in two years!
Expectation of higher taxes is one of the key components that is likely suppressing hiring. If we want a real functional "stimulus" it should begin with making the 2001 tax cuts permanent. I don't care if they are generally referred to as "the Bush tax cuts", and I don't care if the Democrats want to use taking credit for making them permanent as a political tool. It needs to happen, and it needs to happen now!
Another key component of our current economic slow-down is higher fuel prices. (No it's not a recession, at least not nearly yet.) Oil and gas prices have gone up almost 50% in less than two years, and there is no arguing that it's a result of supply and demand; not some supposed conspiracy between "Big Oil" and Halliburton.
There is a lot of untapped oil in America, and the primary thing that's keeping it untapped is our own government getting in the way. Why we continue to bar American oil companies from drilling in ANWR and within 100 miles of the U.S. coastline is beyond all logic; especially when we have other countries drilling within about 60 miles of our coast. If it's really a concern for "the environment", can't we do it at least as cleanly and safely as other countries, if not better? (read "Seeing Green" on my newly started "Drill Domestic Now" blog)
I agree that we have to keep in mind the importance of conservation, and that we need to be good stewards of natural resources. But the extreme restrictions and over-regulation on domestic oil production in this country is a result of such environmental extremism and minimizing the value of human progress that one can see it as the rise of a sort of anti-human neo-paganism.
We need a whole solution for any economic woes that we have, not a short term "stimulus." If anyone cares to look back to the economic disaster of the early 1970's, it was clearly brought on by over-regulation, high taxes, and trouble with the oil supply/prices. To a great extent, the oil and economic problems of the Carter era were rooted in an issue we still haven't resolved; too much dependence on foreign oil, and in particular from the middle-east.
We need more domestic oil production, a bit less regulation (as in CAFE standards) and lower tax rates (not a quick loan against future tax increases). Long term we absolutely need to change from taxing production (income tax) to a consumption tax; such as the "FairTax", being supported by Mike Huckabee.
And speaking of Mike Huckabee (as I often do), he has his own economic growth plan. Although he does use the currently popular "stimulus" buzzword as part of the description of his "A Fair Deal for All Americans" plan (-link-), it really is more of a long-term growth plan that includes some short-term measures.
We do need a real growth plan, not just a temporary "quick fix;" and I can't say too often or too emphatically, that what amounts to a tax loan against the coming tax increase is no stimulus at all!