Christopher Swann– Christopher Swann is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

Obama’s tax cuts were meant to be the first strike force of the stimulus package. The main selling point — other than political popularity — was speed.

Higher take-home pay in April and May would be the first evidence many Americans would see of their government’s broad effort to rescue the economy. The hope was that this would prop up spending long before lumbering public work projects could get under way.

Yet the financial impact already looks set to be swept away. The recent run-up in gasoline prices and a surge in personal savings have provided an uncomfortable reminder of the diminutive size of the tax cuts.

The cuts are just part of a broad government campaign to revive the U.S. economy — along with fresh infrastructure projects, help to the states and bank bailouts.