(CNN)— Former president Bill Clinton criticized the Bush administration’s stimulus checks Monday saying they will only help the economy if everyone spends them and no one saves them.
“You know what you are supposed to do with these stimulus checks, is stimulate,” Bill Clinton told a group of his wife’s supporters while campaigning Indiana. “Go out and blow it. Don’t you dare pay down your credit card or save it,” he quipped.
The federal government started depositing the stimulus checks Monday into bank accounts of 800,000 Americans hoping the extra money will encourage people to spend.
Between now and July, the treasury will distribute more than $110 billion to at least 117 million low and middle income homes.
Clinton said the fundamental issue is most people need the checks to pay off credit debt and bills. “Even if it’s all spent the way the president and Congress hoped it would be,” the current housing crisis would dwarf any possible gains.