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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

For the second time this week, President Obama visited the Midwest today. He's been traveling, in part, to promote the stimulus package.

We asked Rachel Lippman of member station KWMU in St. Louis to get a sense of what people there think of the stimulus deal.

RACHEL LIPPMAN: Barbara Litton and her husband were all set to enjoy their retirements. But she says the plans got dashed when they had to use their savings to support adult children unable to find jobs in a plunging economy.

Ms. BARBARA LITTON (Retiree): I think the main thing for us is the banking system and what happens with the investment side, rather than the industrial side. I'm not in a real optimistic mood at this point.

LIPPMAN: Neither is Amy Mashman(ph), who was shopping with her daughter at a Goodwill store in suburban Brentwood. She just started a part-time job as a pharmacy technician to help pay for two mortgages the family is covering, as they try to sell a house in a down market. She worries that too much has happened for the stimulus to make much difference.

Ms. AMY MASHMAN (Pharmacy Technician): The repercussions that we're having internationally, it's all going to affect one another until something creates stability. And that's going to be people believing in the economy more and I think that's going to take some time.

LIPPMAN: As Richard Propella(ph) was leaving the Brentwood St. Louis Bread Company, he noted that his retirement savings took a 35 percent hit with the swings of the stock market, money he now depends on for income. He hopes the stimulus will turn stocks around in a year but qualifies that almost immediately.

Mr. RICHARD PROPELLA (Retiree): There's been no response to all the news. And passing the bill didn't - or getting close to passing the bill didn't seem to give a boost to the market.

LIPPMAN: I found retired teacher Pat McKenneth(ph) playing at a county park today with her granddaughter, Emily. Her savings also took a beating but she found a silver lining.

Ms. PAT MCKENNETH (Retiree): It'll help us as homeowners because in the future we'll be able to sell our home, if we want to. And it will also help the job market - will also help us as well.

LIPPMAN: It's not housing that Dominic McCormick(ph) is thinking about, it's his workload at a medical management consulting firm that's dropped by 40 percent in recent months.

Mr. DOMINIC MCCORMICK (Management Consultant): Even as the capital might theoretically trickle into the business community, I don't think the business community is suddenly going to go hog wild crazy and start spending it, as they have in the past.

LIPPMAN: Even as he lobbies for the stimulus package, President Obama has been downplaying expectations recently. That's a message that seems to be resonating in St. Louis. Nobody I spoke with today appears to be holding their breath for a miracle.

For NPR News, I'm Rachel Lippman in St. Louis.

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