A serious slow-down in the crafting of the stimulus package is necessary because increasing attention on it has revealed that it simply won’t do what the public expects of it. It is a “stimulate-the-Democratic-Party” bill, not a job creating jump start to a faltering economy that needs to turn over into growth mode.
And voters –especially the young ones who supported the new president so decisively– know it. There’s a story in the WSJ.com today on how the jobless are spending a lot of time online as a diversion from their predicaments, but they are also exchanging information and political opinions. The “stimulus bill” has been debated and dissected for just about 10 days, but its brand is already pork, and sites like ReadTheStimulus.org guarantee that the brand won’t improve unless the bill improves.
Which means that there is a high degree of expectation about the bill’s impact, and a high degree of awareness about its imperfections –a situation of political peril for the new president.
President Obama has been given an opportunity to spend a trillion dollars, and if he does and the economy stays flat or in even negative growth because he chose a partisan path at the opening of his allegedly bipartisan adminstration, that story line will never get rewritten.
Senators McConnell, Kyl and Alexander represent the GOP. The new president ought to be working with them to make sure the bill works, and not just for Acorn and various special interests.