At first, it will trickle into paychecks in small, barely perceptible amounts: perhaps $12 or $13 a week for many American workers, in the form of lower tax withholding.
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
The New York Times
For the growing ranks of the unemployed, it will be more noticeable: benefit checks due to stop will keep coming, along with an extra $25 a week.
At the grocery store, a family of four on food stamps could find up to $79 more a month on their government-issued debit card.
And far bigger sums will appear, courtesy of Washington, on budget ledgers in state capitals nationwide: billions of dollars for health care, schools and public works.
There is no doubt that the impact of the $819 billion economic stimulus package advanced by President Obama and approved by the House on Wednesday will start to be felt within weeks once the final version becomes law.
But estimating how effective the huge program of tax cuts and spending will be in getting America’s economic engines humming again is a far more complex calculation requiring almost line-by-line scrutiny of the 647-page bill, lawmakers, economists and policy analysts say.
While it may be difficult to predict how well the overall plan will work, it is easier to draw conclusions about its individual components, gauging them against the basic goal of any stimulus: to promote economic activity and create jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible.