I don't think economic freefall is in the cards, but anything is possible. Your point, of course, is predicated on the idea that some sort of cash windfall is a given, and that the only question is what people do with it.
So let's pursue that line of thinking. Assuming it could be done administratively (which it probably can't), what would you think of the idea of withholding the cash payment from anyone with financed consumer debt above $2,000 and instead applying their money directly to pay down that debt?
I ask because I really believe there's something a little different about this downturn, and it may require something other than the standard old solutions. The core of these problems has always been some sort of unwarranted excess, but this time that excess is over the issue of debt. That's what's different, and fixing it will ultimately requre addressing how this nation views and handles debt, both at the consumer and institutional levels.
Logically, then, if we are to drop money out of helicopters, wouldn't it be nice this time around to make sure it lands someplace where it will help solve the underlying problem--even at the risk of weakening the short-term effect?