The Democrats are pushing for yet another stimulus package to revive our moribund economy. As of this writing, they have been unable to round up the requisite 60 votes to push the package through the Senate. President Obama has urged deficit-wary moderates to get on board, calling the bill “essential” to addressing the ongoing economic “emergency.” A handful of senators stand in his way, unopposed to the spending in principle but unwilling to vote for another bill that adds to this year’s $1.3 trillion deficit.
If the Democrats prevail, it will be the third time that Congress has extended provisions of the 2009 stimulus bill since its passage in February of last year. Counting the stimulus bill that President Bush signed into law in 2008, it will be the nation’s fifth round of fiscal stimulus since the first flickers of the subprime-mortgage conflagration began to appear at the edges of the economy. It will bring the total amount we have spent on such measures to $1.085 trillion — more than we have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.