Thursday, January 29, 2009

About the stimulus bill

Joe Klein makes some good points today, particularly...

3. There is an awful lot of crap in this bill. And much of it is Republican-style crap, as Tom Edsall reported: more than $23 billion in old-fashioned tax breaks to corporations, which stimulates nothing except the lobbyists' bank statements. That sort of thing is as disgraceful as it is inevitable--the grease needed to get votes for the final package. I'd prefer a more elegant bill--and especially one that includes more spending programs targeted on an energy-efficient future, including more rail transit (as well as an Infrastructure Bank to vet all new programs, as Obama promised during the campaign). I'd also prefer to have been born with reflexes quick enough to enable me to play shortstop for the Mets. The most important thing is to get this big messy booster shot moving into the economy as quickly as possible.

Quite right. We can argue about whether or not the process is broken when legislation can't get passed without such grease but the reality is that's how politics works. Washington has always worked this and probably always will, I don't know that anyone really likes it but at the end of the day the important thing is getting a good stimulus bill passed and if it takes some grease to do it so be it.

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