Ain’t it the truth, as is his warning near the end that “This historic step won’t be the end of what we do to turn our economy around, but rather the beginning.” WaPo’s already anticipating Stimulus II, in fact, presumably to follow hot on the heels of TARP III. And all this while he’s planning to, er, balance the budget. Reminds me of one of those physics problems where water’s pouring into a sink at a certain rate and you have to figure out how big the drain needs to be to keep the sink from overflowing. How do you calculate that for Niagara Falls?
John Pitney did the back-of-the-envelope math and figures that Congress spent about a million dollars per second during the course of deliberation on the bill. As for this latest fireside chat from The One, I’ll leave you with two quotes as a right-wing rebuttal. First, Veronique de Rugy, making a long, long laundry list of the less stimulative bits of the alleged stimulus:
It’s a terrible bill, in other words, both on its face and in the details. For the reasons I detailed here, it won’t stimulate the economy. It violates many of President Obama’s promises. Most of the deals that created it were made behind closed doors, meaning that there is virtually zero transparency and no real way to track where, how, or why money is being spent. On top of that, the bill is still packed with items that any vaguely impartial observer would call pork.
And David Frum, sharing a lesson he learned the hard way:
After 9/11, President Bush (supported by me, among others) argued that the right way to respond to a terrorist attack from Afghanistan was by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. We offered a complicated explanation for this roundabout response, and for a time the public accepted it. But as the war went wrong, and failed to deliver the promised results, our plan’s credibility collapsed.
Now the Democrats have placed themselves in a similar situation. They are offering an indirect answer to an immediate question. The suspicion arises that they had decided the answer long before the crisis ever materialized—that they are using the crisis as an excuse to do what they had long wished to do anyway, for reasons that they are not stating in full.