Economic stimulus checks are hitting the printing presses, starting at a Treasury Department facility in Kansas City.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson toured the regional financial center as the checks rolled off the press and were prepared for mailing.
Kansas City is one of four facilities nationwide issuing about 88 million paper checks between now and July. The payments range from $300 to $1200 for married couples. The Bush administration is counting on the stimulus payments to boost consumer spending and trigger a rebound in growth.
"It's not a program where the government said, 'We're going to appropriate some money and we're going to spend it for you,'" Paulson said. "We're giving this to the American people and they're going to decide and some people will no doubt decide to save the money and it will be the right decision for them."
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