He starts off strong, calling out the Senators that sought changes to the economic stimulus bill in exchange for their votes. He refers to them as "proud centrists" which he defines as:
someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses[.]He stopped short of accusing Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe* of clubbing baby seals and causing the hole in the ozone layer (is that even still there?) but you get the impression that he wanted to.
Then he drops the bombshell as it relates to the cuts in spending that the proud centrists managed to force:
All in all, more than $80 billion was cut from the plan, with the great bulk of those cuts falling on precisely the measures that would do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump.This is great news. If Krugman knows exactly which $80 billion will do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump, let's just spend that $80 billion. Even if we doubled these items to $160 billion we would still cut the price tag of the bill over 75% from its current incarnation.
Now Krugman may respond that President Bush tried a stimulus of about that size last year and it didn't work. To which I would respond that is because it was all tax rebates, your plan is 100% spending. There is no way Krugman could resist a stimulus that was comprised entirely of spending.
Maybe I misunderstood, but I doubt it. It is clear that our nation's leading Keynesian voice has changed its tune. Let's just hope the conference committee is listening
I'm only kidding, of course. But just in case Paul Krugman happens to read this blog let me just say first of all, aren't you late for a television appearance? Secondly, could you leave a comment on this post. Even (especially) a negative one which I could proudly display permanently and prominently as some sort of blogger badge of honor the way Robert Stacy McCain does.
*Senator Arlen Specter is the third Republican in the proud centrist group, but I chose not to include him since we all know that he would never club a baby seal. He would, of course, shoot them with a magic bullet.