Whisper This: Here Comes Stimulus 2.1

by John Cassidy

As expected, last week’s poor job report has generated calls for another stimulus package, with Paul Krugman and congressional Democrats in swing districts arguing that the existing measure is inadequate. Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said earlier this week that there were “no plans” for another stimulus bill, but he conceded that President Obama’s economics team was working on “extensions” to existing measures, which would boost job creation.

Part of what is going on here is political posturing: many senior Democrats, the President included, are wary of being labeled “tax-and-spend liberals.” For this reason, they are reluctant to publicize the fact that they have already found a way to give the economy another fiscal boost in advance of next year’s mid-terms without having to vote through a second big spending bill. And they did this in the very piece of legislation that Krugman and others are criticizing: “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” which Congress voted through in February. more

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