Many a pundit has ascribed the economy's erstwhile run-up to enthusiastic consumer spending - and the recent downturn to the U.S. consumer's over-reliance on debt, particularly creative sub-prime mortgages. Washington has hoped to reinvigorate the economy by providing tax rebates that will spur new purchases.
But now the New York Times reports many consumers plan to use their rebate not to give the economy a shot in the arm, but to pay existing bills. Meanwhile The Wall Street Journal says consumers are becoming increasingly creative as they scramble for cash. They're selling life insurance policies, tapping into retirement accounts, and taking out reverse mortgages on their homes.
Are U.S. consumers going to get back to buying? Or will the economy sink while they hunker down some more? Let us know by posting below.