Hello from D.C. Long couple of days, details for another time. Meanwhile… Imagine my surprise when I saw the numbers out from Think Progress on the talking heads split on stimulus talk. Republicans outnumber Dems by a mile. But RG is ever the good sport:
“On the day when we learned 3.6 million people have lost their jobs since this recession began, we are pleased the process is moving forward and we are closer to getting Americans a plan to create millions of jobs and get people back to work.” – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
There’s a deal, but it won’t be voted on until Sunday. What’s in it?
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said the proposal breaks down this way: 42 percent is for tax cuts and 58 percent is new spending.
Yeah, because tax cuts worked so well during the Bush years.
That John McCain is mad doesn’t surprised me, especially since he doesn’t understand that spending is stimulus. Dean Baker:
Spending that is not stimulus is like cash that is not money. Spending is stimulus, spending is stimulus. Any spending will generate jobs. It is that simple. There is a question of whether the spending will go to areas that will provide benefits, long-term or short-term, to the economy, but there is no question that money that is spent will create jobs and therefore is stimulus.
And sometimes you’ve just got to love yourself some Nancy Pelosi:
“Washington seems consumed in the process argument of bipartisanship, when the rest of the country says they need this bill,” the California Democrat said, seeming to sweep aside the Obama administration initial desire to have broad GOP support for the plan.
If you’re not convinced of the urgency, see this chart from Pelosi’s office on the Republican Job Recession. It says it all.
As for all this bipartisanship ushered in by our non-ideological president, well, at least he took it to the Republicans in rhetoric, which will continue next week in a “blitz.” The problem is that the stimulus doesn’t do what it needs to do, mostly because of the weak-kneed half assers that are obviously oblivious to the F.D.R. vein running through our Democratic purpose.
The truth of the matter is that Republicans don’t know squat about the economy, see Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. Listening to John McCain on it seals that debate.
So let the economic eggheads haggle over this all they want. President Obama wasn’t brave enough, the package is too small, and in the end it was Ben Nelson center stage. How’d the Democrats let that happen?
Because the progressives didn’t run this show, while Republicans only added what hasn’t worked before, throwing every elbow they could to get to the cameras for show.
Would the Obama economic plan, if enacted, ensure that America won’t have its own lost decade? Not necessarily: a number of economists, myself included, think the plan falls short and should be substantially bigger. But the Obama plan would certainly improve our odds. And that’s why the efforts of Republicans to make the plan smaller and less effective — to turn it into little more than another round of Bush-style tax cuts — are so destructive.
Andrew Sullivan sums up the problem, though he doesn’t realize it, in a post entitled “The Presider Gets Results,” ending with this line: It is the Age of Collins, Nelson and Obama. Obama comes in last, with Collins, a Republican, leading. Ironic and likely unintended, but telling.
So, in the end a very popular president who won by a healthy margin, partly on Democratic economics, lost the talking points war with Republicans who insisted that what George W. Bush did with tax cuts was still a good idea. Even though it was his policies that helped get us in the mess in the first place. Then a deal was made to incorporate what didn’t work the last eight years time in a stimulus package that isn’t bold enough to start.