Skip to main content

Finally, we are getting somewhere!  The great debate about the size of the stimulus has begun!

I posted back on December 5th the size of the stimulus must at least $1.0T, and should probably be much larger.  Boy, did I catch hell in the comments for attempting to quantify how much money needs to be spent because I did not know what I was doing.  Lucky for me,  Paul Krugman used the exact same methodology a several weeks later to estimate the size of the stimulus.  Stop copping my riffs, Krugman!  

I then posted that Obama's stimulus plan is probably too small to save the economy.

We finally have a debate starting and the initial consensus is:  Obama's stimulus plan is too small!  Take a look at the luminaries who are talking about the plan being too small.

The Obama team has released a paper which directly addresses how much the stimulus will impact the economy.  Conclusion:  not much.

Paul Krugman comments on the paper and says: We need way more stimulus and it needs to happen ASAP .

Prof. K also says:  We will have a liquidity trap unless the plan gets much larger.  

Steve Brennen of the Washington monthly does a quick overview that reviews everyone else and the consensus is:  we need more stimulus

John Galbraith says we need more stimulus.

Matt Yglesias responds to my initial question in his usual detailed, multi-faceted manner here, here, here, and here.

Brad Delong addresses the size and some political issues here.  He also talks about bang for the buck of the proposed tax cuts a bit with reference to TaxVox

Digby talks about thepolitical dance playing out, and how Obama is setting the stage with some help from John Kerry

Update:  Josh Marshall gets in on the action.

Update 2:  It is not only the size of the stimulus, it is the timing.  Prof. Krugman talks about the threat of a deflationary liquidity trap if the timing is wrong.  And how could I have missed John Kerry and Harkin saying the plan is too small?

Update 3:  I missed Stiglitz too.  Doh!  thanks bigchin!

Originally posted to mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:25 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Borrowing our way to Prosperity? (6+ / 0-)

    If we deficit spend AND cut taxes, there may not be investors in the Treasury instruments needed to finance this fiasco.  China, the largest holder of US debt, has been hinting for weeks that it is losing interest in Treasuries and is experimenting with Yuan denominated agreements so that China is protected from a further drop in the US$.  We may win a temporary battle to lose the economic war and end up a bankrupt nation a la Argentina in the 80's.  Check it out at:

    •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Check out the Peter Schiff youtube I posted just below

      •  Overblown but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I do not think China can stop purchasing treasuries at this point, but I could be wrong.  Peter Schiff is a smart guy.

        I do think the entire conventional model we have for money creation and spending is wrong, so I do not worry about it in the way that others do.  I do worry that most people, who that think that deficits are bad, still run the economy so we should be concerned with what they think.

        that Schiff video is excellent - thanks Inky.

        I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

        by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:44:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  China has it's own problems. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They are coming under increasing pressure to invest in their domestic economy. Perhaps a long term benefit for the global economy would be if they emerge as a more balanced economy. However, that is likely to impose constraints on efforts at US recovery.

          •  They are going to (0+ / 0-)

            spend as much as we do, I will have to look into the sources again on this.

            I do think that we have lots of room with rates so low right now to spend.  30y under three percent, so obviously, people and china still want our debt.

            However, this could be another case where once the true situation comes into view for the majority of financial people, they no longer want to fund our debt.  We could go from 2.5X over subscriptions at treasury auctions to .5 subscriptions.  


            I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

            by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:53:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Incorrect (0+ / 0-)

      It's borrowing our way into investment.

      There are some long term structural issues that need to be addressed in this country.

      Several of which, if done, would actually make it easier to pay the debt.

      Just a quick list are energy independence (the fed currently subsidizes our energy costs by several hundred billion or more per year - if we changed energy sources- they would not need to do so), healthcare (we currently pay 6000 per person for healthcare  versus some other advanced countries paying half that per person (you can do the math- the difference is in the hundreds billions). There are actually others. My point is simple. But not making the necessary structural and investment decisions we are actually making it much harder to pay down the debt, not easier. Cutting spend and raising taxes is only one way of addressing the deficit and the debt.

      •  The kinds of spending (0+ / 0-)

        that would lead to a long term improvement in the security and competitiveness of the American economy would take some time to get off the ground if it was going to be done effectively. The immediate political pressure is for shovel ready projects. I'm not too confident that most of those will make that great a contribution.

        •  I agree with that (0+ / 0-)

          I think that there should be a mix of the two. I definitely have a problem with even Obama's idea of short term stimulus as being about bridges, etc.

          I actuallywould prefer if they tried a block grant approach that gave money to states to be used for a list of programs, etc rather than roads, etc.

          THere are some green aspects that can be done now such as green-fitting buildings to make them more energy effiecient to recude costs. Smart energy metters which has only 15 percent market penetration which would save and reduce costs regarding energy consumption. Etc. I amnot sure if any o that is part of the deal. Not sure why not since it would result in  long term savings .

          •  The best long term investment (0+ / 0-)

            would be an attempt to give America a leading edge in the development of green technology. That would take years.

            The US has been resting on its technological laurels for many years. We have seriously fallen behind in many areas.

            •  Again agree 100 percent (0+ / 0-)

              My point is that this could be  the start off point. First start to sue some of the tech here. But then use it as a way to rebuild the economy. One can lead intot he other.

              We are definitely behind the curve because the rest fo the world is already starting to build business models that are working off of this. The leading edge tech issue is a big one. Right now, in my research that's part of my focus- startups and whats happening in the real world with them. Basically it could lead to another tech boom, but no one is looking at it becaue of the all the false starts int eh 70s and mid 90s.

              •  I agree as well (0+ / 0-)

                This is a 2 decade long project miniumum and would pay off in both U.S. long term jobs, clean air and land, and much higher global prosperity.

                It is a must do for our country.  We are talking about a manhattan project of green energy.

                Where is the dreaming we used to see regularly in the 50s about flying cars and stuff?  We do not have anyone really talking about that in the mainstream media and it sad.

                I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

                by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:00:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well to be honest part of the (0+ / 0-)

                  problem is whene liberals veer into science fiction rather than making the case that these are already real world economic engines being built that we are being left behind on. Flying cars are not the metaphor i would use. My metaphor is that there are already countries getting in on this market, and we are falling behind them. That the market value on thi sis huge, but we are for some reason seatting around going "wait, what is the next thing?" the next thing has been percolating for a few years now. we just have not been a board it becuase idealogical reasons. So, the point would be different. There are real technologies that already exist that would represent a huge demand because of regulatory and other issues happening both abroad, and domestically. For example, the very real issue of water supplies strinking is somehting that we could be at the for front of addressing internationally and domestically. In other words, don't think so big that it goes from reality to sci fi. There are very real things going on right now that people are ignoring that would reshape our economy , productivity, etc. They are bigger in many ways than even the communication advances of the Internet, but no one is noticing them because they aren't sexy.

                  •  lol flying cars was not what (0+ / 0-)

                    not what I want, but rather a metaphor for "big thinking" that you put so well in your response.  We need huge projects and thinking to be able to lift several billion people out of poverty.  

                    I am a huge fan of Bucky Fuller.  There is no way was can do this one time "pull up to wealthy" without doing more with less, and figuring out how to harvest free energy from the sun and earth.

                    We need those simple technologies that don't make huge profits to be widely distributed, because we are talking about improving the human condition, not making money.  Something as simple as clean water is a big picture challenge we, the U.S., should be addressing.  

                    I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

                    by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:14:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                      We must make it about making money. by monetizing it then people see their interest in doing it. The fact good comes out it is the liberal end of why it should be done. But the incentiviing for everyone should be focused on how it can make or save money. Right now, I think reading this, that's  one fo the problems. Until I started to read it, I didn't realize this has become viable business opportunities, eerywhere apparenlty except the US.

                    •  this is how view social concious capitalism (0+ / 0-)

                      I am not the guy to have thought up this, but that the result is that we re creating ways for people to make money and to do something right.

                      •  I do agree, but (0+ / 0-)

                        I think that some of the ways needed to increase the standard of living for people will not ever be very profitable.

                        I am a huge capitalist, and this is one of the problems I see with the system.  Capitalism is concerned with nominal money profit, and this is not necessarily linked to real wealth creation.

                        At least not in our current version.

                        I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

                        by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:42:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I agree 100 percent (0+ / 0-)

                          I just recommended this book, MITI and the Japanese Miracle which discusses the concepts of how developing countries engaged in wealth creations through managed growth rather than assuming the market is God.

                          I think the problem is that many do not realize the version of capitalism that we have today is not only version the exists or has existed.

                          The capitalism that you describe that is concerned with nomial money profit is free market or fundamentalist capitalism that's not interested in real wealth creation. It's created in individual interests at the exclusion of any impact systemically on whether we are growing the pie or proving that we are growin the pie.

                          No one is seeking to correct for the lack of growth. Thus, we can not produce savings becase without actuall wealth growth we are simply trying to stay a float with the existing pool that's evaporaing as it is spread.

  •  It's not the size of the wand, Its the skill (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickslam, Richard Lyon, Shhs, Betty Pinson

    of the magician.

    Giving the 1st trillion to the banks doesnt appear to have been such a good plan. Why giving the Auto industry 16 billion was such a big deal is beyond me. Seems like if we reversed that it might have been better.

    •  no kidding (0+ / 0-)

      did you see the article at The Big Picture

      We cannot let republicans anywhere near this bailout.  They will give money away to cronies, as evidenced by Paulson's behavior.  

      I am embarrassed to say that I initially thought he was acting in the best interests of the country.

      I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

      by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:41:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You should read some Peter Schiff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TX Unmuzzled, ffrf

    He's got a better mind than most of the clamoring throng.  

    •  I don't think he gets it- actually he doesn't get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TX Unmuzzled


      GOP = Godless opposition party We Hassle to make America a Vassal (state)

      by Shhs on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:39:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever I learned in econ 202 that it would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      bust (that was back in 2003).  Are econ teacher made us actually go through the employment numbers, then real employment, certain indexes, and of course housing.  A lot of ppl didn't look @ the basics, he's no great sage or profit.  And he doesn't get the a solution isn't that hard.  Ppl can't see the forest for the trees.

      GOP = Godless opposition party We Hassle to make America a Vassal (state)

      by Shhs on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:43:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  our instead of are sorry. (0+ / 0-)

        GOP = Godless opposition party We Hassle to make America a Vassal (state)

        by Shhs on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:49:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  it wasn't rocket science (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TX Unmuzzled, Shhs

        it was easy to point out, but there were so many institutional reasons to participate that most financial institutions had to join or be left behind.

        The fed and greenspan fought hard to be the regulatory body over housing and mortgages, and willfully did not make any regulations.  They truly believed that the market would take care of itself.  Well, now it is going to cost us $2T to fix.  

        I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

        by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:49:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is an egomaniacal idiot who's dead wrong. (0+ / 0-)

      And severely misguided in his judgment. Many many people could see the current housing crisis coming. Nobody wanted to hear a party-pooper though, as Krugman said.

      It wasn't the housing crisis that needed foretelling, though.


      We could solve the housing problem in no time if that's all it was.

      The real economic threat was the shadow market of derivatives enabled by Phil Gramm, a Republican congress with Democratic enablers, and a Democratic and then Republican administration. See CFMA of 2000.

      And this guy thinks the U.S. is in isolated economic dynamics and pays no heed to the fact that the rest of the world is DEPENDENT on a U.S. RECOVERY, and so yes, the world will lend us whatever we ask for... for now.

      He is only stating the obvious about the nature of the crisis without making any progress into what legitimate options we have to work our way through it. That's always a coward's position.

      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

        the US is dependent on the world. Although not always so, the US economy is based on consumption to the tune of 70%, consumption is the annihilation of capital.  Without productivity how can the US service debt?  

        The world recognizes who is to blame and will abandon the US to invest elsewhere in the world as they see that we cannot service the debt.

        In two major policy speeches (in Berlin and in St. Petersburg) in less than two days, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev made a splash by putting the blame for the global financial crisis squarely on the United States, and by calling for a sweeping overhaul of the international financial order and its sustaining infrastructure.

        In a speech at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Medvedev presented a passionate argument against "economic nationalism" of states that "do not want to share the benefits of globalization," and erect barriers to protect themselves against the financial storm, now spreading through the world economic system.

        Medvedev singled out the United States as one of the key culprits of the financial crisis, by asserting that one of the principal underlying causes of the crisis is that the United States’ central role in the international economic system no longer matches its actual capabilities. "No matter how large the U.S. market was and no matter how reliable the U.S. financial system was, they could not substitute for the global commodities and financial markets," he said. "It was erroneous to believe that one state, even the most powerful one, can assume the responsibilities for global governance, whereas global governing institutions (the IMF), responsible for international financial policy, had virtually no instruments to influence the strategies of the market players."

        by Soma on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:17:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How is he wrong? (0+ / 0-)

        He's pointing out that we don't produce anything anymore, that we are totally overextended, and that people may quit loaning us money here pretty soon.  Indeed, why should they?  

        It's basic common sense.  

        The economists that are displaying common sense are foretelling an America that is quite likely to go bankrupt.  

        America should go bankrupt, if you look at the figures.  It'll be something of a miracle if it doens't.

        Schiff indeed offers solutions, he says we need to start producing stuff in this country again instead of importing everything we consume.  

        •  It's too broad a brush. (0+ / 0-)

          Don't listen to economic "thinkers" who ignore the element of time, especially when time is critical. This is how Larry Summers ignored the devastation of rapid capital flows across developing borders in the 90's.

          He's just stating the obvious - of course there's an inflation risk! Of course foreigners won't finance us forever! Of course we have to restructure our economy! Who doesn't know this already!?

          This guy is just cutting to the doom and ignoring the fact that while time is indeed running out, there is time between now and the end, and with sophisticated choices that won't be without pain, we can work through this.

          To think that the rest of the world can sit idly by and tsk tsk the American economy is ridiculous. The world far prefers that our economy get moving again and are - for the time being - willing to extend credit and hope.

          The idea that the RUSSIAN president is trying to talk down the US dollar should come as no surprise to any American -- or any other world government. Russia talking down the dollar, attacking the US? Really?!?

          C'mon. My guess is Schiff is shorting the dollar and talking it down.

  •  Does any one have resources they would recommend (0+ / 0-)

    to brush up on my economics.

    I can handle the jargon, I can handle the statistics/math, but I don't know where to turn for:

    1. background
    1. analysis / reading indexes
    1. predictive techniques
    1. progressive policy and analysis
    1. building the future energy economy

    thank you.

    •  The Shock Doctrine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, Shhs

      By Naomi Klein.  Noami will get you up to speed immediately.

      I recommend CDs so you can listen while you drive.

      In my opinion, our current economy policy boils down to this:  If you allow people's greed for money to go unregulated, will people do anything -- moral or immoral -- to accumulate wealth?

      To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

      by XOVER on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:50:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re Energy Economy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am reading Clean Money. It's a really good book on clean tech business issues and energy economy. Basically a great primer on why cost wise this matters. Its the first book i have read thats put it in real world (not granola pie in the sky) why we should do this to save and make money turns and also conveys realistically where we are. Surprisingly the tech is out there. Just not the will. I will be honest I was one that thought Gore was nice, but loopy because there was no way this could be a priority right now. I am starting to think I was wrong as I do more research. The real problem is not that its not as cheap anymore to use alternatives. Apparently it is. The problem is that of habit.

      •  I have not read it (0+ / 0-)

        but in general the wealth of an economy is directly related to how much energy they can use.

        Bucky Fuller was the first person to introduce me to this idea, he writes about it in critical path.

        I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

        by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:31:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes I am learning that it can create significant (0+ / 0-)

          cost savings. For example, as I mention above that the fed subsidizes our consumption of oil means that we are actually extending our debt and deficits. By investing now in the renewal energy in a few years we could be in a place to pay down the debt and deficit because this would be off the list of costs the feds cover.

          In terms of comparative advantage, other countries like China, Germany and the UK already investing heavily and moving (but for this downturn) toward this approach.

          The model to me is partially coming out of Brazil. Because Brazil moved toward a biofuel it was not impacted as I understand it from the raise in oil prices, and therefore, one can see how that means there is not lose or impact related to oil pricing.

          Finally, there is the other thing --military engagement. It would mean that a lot of the reasons for our foreign entanglement would go away. The justification for military expenditures would be lessen. The largest portion of our moneya ctually goes into this rather than into other things. This is again a way we can see cost savings. An effective military rather than one meant to protect unnecessary resources abroad.

    •  See this blog and its news & blog rolls (0+ / 0-)

      It's specific to lay people, the economy, and real estate. It's in Texas but also covers the nation, and the news feed and blogroll are good for brushing up.

  •  I've been watching Dick Cheney on Late Edition, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    his answer to our economic problems,,,,, wait for it,,,, tax cuts, yep more tax cuts, geared toward the wealthy of course, to stimulate "job creation". Doh! why didn't we think of that.

    CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. A. Bierce

    by irate on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:42:57 AM PST

  •  It is possible that if we stop spending (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFWmom, mickslam, Vladislaw

    $10 billion a month in Iraq, we could spend a little here.

    •  lol exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shhs, voracious

      You would think that at least one republican might be able to make this connection, but apparently not.

      I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

      by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:46:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would like to see that 10 billion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Moved towards the creation of a commercial space economy for America. If we want jobs of the 21st century we should move a TINY amount, like 5 billion a month, towards creating infrastructure that requires math and science and provides inspiration to our youth.

      That may, to some, sound like a lot of money towards space spending, but it would still be far short of what America spent on Apollo and the creation of more engineers then we knew what do to with when it ended.

      I would not like to see it go towards "big aerospace" government pork projects but towards building a commercial space economy that is the true engine of job creation, not gov.

  •  It'll be interesting to watch it play out. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    I think Digby (as usual) nails it.  Obama's team started with a frighteningly large number and then the cavalry (Kerry, Krugman, et al) rides in to allow Obama to compromise UP, rather than down.  If that's the case, we may end up being where we'll need to be to do more than put a band-aid on the Bush hemorrhage (and how appropriate that spell-check suggested hemorrhoid).

    •  Agreed. Obama already gave a number between (4+ / 0-)

      775 billion to 1.3T.  He just didn't make up that number.  And if he had started out with 1.3T the sticker shock would have hurt the bill with the public more than just having people push that number up.

      Like I have said before.  We started with a number that was 775 billion and now we are up to 800 billion at the least.  I think if enough people make enough noise and drown out the republican we can get the top half based on investment up to an acceptable level along that combined with the TARP money would be a good starting point for where we need to go.  I think the goal should be 950 billion with the 350 billion in what is left of the TARP money will equal up to about...

      1.3 trillion dollars.

      I might be mistaken on this but I think this is exactly what the Obama administration is aiming for.

  •  Let me get this right... (0+ / 0-)

    The issue is not that the current plan will have less than the desired effect, which I can buy, but the plan as it is now, will be dire and disastrous to the American economy as we know it?

    I'd love to see someone explain that one. Even Krugman isn't going that far.

    Also, how can the Obama team release a paper on their stimulus that says that it does basically nothing for the economy, yet he and his team are out lying to the people about the number of jobs they're projecting? Why would they release an internal paper on their plan that contradicts everything that they are saying in public?

    It's ridiculous how there is no middle ground for people. Either Obama is doing exactly as they want or he's a complete and utter disaster. Reading this place you'd think that Obama is going to have about a 10% approval rating the second he swears in.

    Everyone with a keyboard is now an economist.

    •  I heartily disagree w/your post! (0+ / 0-)

      I have been an economist b4 I had a keyboard!  Thank you very much!

      GOP = Godless opposition party We Hassle to make America a Vassal (state)

      by Shhs on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:52:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We are only now beginning the debate (0+ / 0-)

      so I expect the plan to get better.  By better I mean larger and acting more quickly than the current plan.

      Obama's team didn't come out and say "Our plan sucks".  What they did in their paper was lay out the plan and compare it to not doing anything.  It is better than doing nothing, but not everyone will be happy with a economic trajectory that is only slighly better than doing nothing at all.  The inevitable conclusion from reading the plan would be "We need to do much, much more"  Thats what Krugman and Yglesias both said, and that is what I say too.

      I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

      by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:57:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. And the best part of it... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is we aren't debating whether 800 billion dollars is too much with Republicans, which would have changed the number downward, but we are discussing whether or not 800 billion dollars is enough.  By doing this we are changing the arguement of the American people.  

        Whether Obama is doing this on purpose or not, he is creating a situation where by the time we get to an agreeable number, it is going to be more than what we started started with.

        That way if the Republicans raise a ruckus, Obama can just say, "Hey, I gave you guys tax cuts and let you in on the decision making, but right now the public and other Democrats have agreed to make it a bigger number so we are going with that."

        At that point it will be easier to paint Republicans as obstructionists because Obama pretty much gave them something they wanted at the cost of being criticized by his own party. It will be harder to argue the number down at that point.

        It is pretty nice actually. lol

        •  This is not just a matter of political (0+ / 0-)

          ideology. What is done will have practical consequences. Some of those consequences could turn out to be different from what is intended. A drastic increase in public debt carries definite risks.

        •  I've learned to respect (0+ / 0-)

          Obama's tactics.  I do not always see how it play out until much later, but he has proven to be a master of tactics.

          He is like the republicans have been for 30 years, but way better.  He is doing it without the republican noise machine, and without the backing of the press.  I am just astonished at his ability to get people behind his plans.  That said, Richard Lyons comments are basically "it needs to work to work" and make me nervous...

          I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

          by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:17:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It is not just the size ... (0+ / 0-)

    Here we have a unique "opportunity" to spend in the right areas that will help us decades down the road.

    Taxcut is absolutely the last thing that should be done, with this in mind.

  •  Joseph Stiglitz too! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:17:09 AM PST

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know why or how they work, but what the heck!

    I am repeating myself, and thats ok.

    by mickslam on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:25:27 AM PST

Click here for the mobile view of the site