The president’s speech today at Brookings unfolded on largely predictable lines — lines which the editors did in fact predict and comment on in today’s editorial. The thing to keep in mind is that the new package would be nearly identical to the gargantuan stimulus bill passed last February, just smaller in size. Politically, that’s going to be a tough sell:
All of this underscores a truth about the stimulus that Democrats seem reluctant to accept: Its hefty contribution to the deficit is not the only, or even the most important, reason it has grown so unpopular. Every day brings a new headline about how stimulus funds are being wasted or mismanaged, or how the jobs its supporters claim it has created are “not really a real number,” but more “like a budget number.” Opposition to the stimulus stems from the public’s growing awareness that it is being lied to, and that governments can only manipulate budget numbers up to a certain point before real bills start coming due.
I’ll have more on Obama’s speech later today. In the meantime, I’ll be on the Mike Rosen Show in about ten minutes to talk about the influence of unions on the Obama administration. You can listen live at the link.