In the comments to the Forrest Plumber entry, commenter Frank asked (somewhat sarcastically, but even so) what my thoughts about the stimulus package are. I claim no great insight in the process, but my thought is, essentially: seems like it’s needed at this point, and I’m happy to let Congress thrash it out a while to make sure it’s useful rather than simply large. Which means that fundamentally I don’t have a problem with the GOP complaining and getting all huffy about cost, etc. Mind you, given the last eight years, I find the sort of indescribable richness that one usually ascribes only to super-moist chocolate fudge cake in the idea of the GOP suddenly acting as if they’re grown-ups when it comes to federal-level fiscal responsibility. But we’ll see what comes of it.
Now, I’ve seen it suggested that the GOP has decided to oppose a stimulus package because they want the whole thing to come crashing down, make Obama look bad and thus they’ll look better, or some such. If so, I personally think this is an interesting strategy for a party that was defeated on the basis of its inability to comprehend what’s actually happening to the economy (and the people in it), a little like a drunk driver deciding it’s a brilliant PR move to wrest control of the ambulance taking him and the other wreck victims to the hospital from the EMTs driving the thing. Basically, I don’t think it would be as good an idea as they might think it is. It does seem of late that many of the GOP’s ideas, particularly the economic ones, have not been as good as they think they are. Which is why they find themselves in the position they do now.
Be that as it may, from a philosophical point of view, I am a fan of democratic processes, sober deliberation when it comes to money, especially in gargantuan sums, spending money wisely for the long-term benefit of the country and not spending a penny more than absolutely necessary. So let’s hope at the end of this we get a stimulus package that’s good for the country, rather than just more political posturing on either side of the aisle.