The $600 that saved the world

President Bush announces a little surprise: your $600 stimulus check is coming early:
"Starting Monday, the effects of the stimulus will begin to reach millions of households across our country," Bush said Friday in remarks on the South Lawn of the White House. [...]

"The money is going to help Americans offset the high prices we're seeing at the gas pump, the grocery store, and also give our economy a boost to help us pull out of this economic slowdown," Bush said.

Bush's emphasis on fuel and food prices differed from other comments he's made since signing the economic stimulus legislation, intended to aid the economy by boosting overall consumer spending - which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the nation's economic activity.

Bush has suggested the rebates could trigger a spending spree. "When the money reaches the American people, we expect they will use it to boost consumer spending," he said last month.

The change in language suggests that Bush realizes how asinine the $600 to save the economy was. Mortgage equity withdrawal was running at hundreds of billions of dollars annually. That's thousands of dollars every year for every man, woman, and child in America. That money is gone. You think a one-time $600 check is going to make up for that?

It's nice to see Bush's acknowledgment of reality: it's not a stimulus check; it's a partial refund for victims of Bernanke's inflation.