Republicans Oppose Stimulus, Laud It
Steve Benen points to a couple of Republicans who voted against the stimulus package but nonetheless like the spending going to their districts. Not surprising, really: One can oppose a massive omnibus bill and still like parts of it. And, for that matter, one can want stimulus money for one’s district and still think a similar stimulus for the other 434 districts adds up to a massive boondoggle.
To be sure, there are Republicans — maybe a majority of them — who are simply playing politics here. But this is a giant, complicated mess so it’s to be expected that the reactions to it are convoluted.
Republicans want to cut other people’s government spending, just not that which benefits their state or Congressional district. This mirrors the Democrats who want to increase taxes on everyone, except for themselves. The only real difference between the two is that Dems have been a little more likely to balance taxes and spending. Since supply side came in, Republicans have only increased debt.
I am taken just now, and somewhat amused by the notion that the vectors involved with this post and that of “God and Disaster” are quite similar in that the constructs are so massive that they are not easily explained. So massive, that seemingly self conflicting positions, may not be so.
I suppose I’ll have to think about this a bit more.
And so even before the signing of the bill the construction of the fall-back position of the ‘the Republicans made me do it’ begins. Someone needs to get faster drying ink for the Presidents pens.
My prize for the best headline goes to:
Is $800 Billion Too Big or Too Small? Yes.
As I’ve said, the situation (arguably a compromise) supports both fringes … for now.
I suppose that if the downturn becomes more severe (more than the typical voter now expects), it will be net-bad for Republicans. I mean in a mild recession they have cover for a “natural” recovery, but in an arguable depression, less so:
In a historic first, S&P 500 companies will post a net loss
(Go ahead, someone tell me that those earnings are imaginary, fear-mongering.)
In case anyone wants to float again the idea that this mess is less than it appears, and an invention of US liberals, consider this fragment from John Maudlin (via Barry Ritholz RSS feed):
I’d give a link but I don’t see the article on the http://www.ritholtz.com site, yet.
If $25T have been removed from the European economy, our stimulus is (as some fear) small change.
And yet, we are encouraged to become more like the Europeans as a solution to this problem. What’s wrong with this picture?
This bill is not all pork.
The part that’s not is really, really bad.