Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stimulus Bill Curiosity
Why do we care what Republicans think, again? Just wondering.

This piece in the Times has a pretty good rundown of the bill, including this note that has the ring of truth.
By my count, the current package has just one major flaw. It could do a lot more to change how the government spends its money. It doesn’t have nearly the amount of the fresh, reformist thinking as Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches and proposals did. Instead, the bill is mostly a stew of spending on existing programs, whatever their warts may be.

I understand that this approach reflects the realities of political negotiations. It even has some economic merits: it may help speed the flow of money out the door. But it still is a missed opportunity in a few instances.
Namely, infrastructure, which I don't really understand missing. It is the part of the promised stimulus that makes the most sense to the layperson like me - fixing stuff and creating jobs and laying the groundwork for a more green economy, with modern electric grids and building weatherizing, etc. Why would we cut back on that?

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