The Corner

The Original Sin — the Stimulus

I agree with Yuval and Jonah regarding health care, but the original sin was the stimulus. If Obama had gone smaller and shrewder, he might have been able to get a dozen or maybe more Senate Republicans. That would have lessened the incentive for him to over-promise to get the stimulus passed; it would have provided political cover; and it would have fueled a Republican civil war on par with the immigration debate of 2007. This was the obvious play, unless, of course, you have a theological belief that a lumpy $800 billion sack of payments to individuals and of random government programs is going to be a magical spur to job creation — in which case, you go with the big stimulus and simply insist that it’s worked as envisioned, shedding credibility by the day. And when it gets really bad, as I write in my column today, you “send Biden.” Or as a reader who’s a Clash of the Titans fan suggests, “release the Biden.”

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