Marc Ambinder explains why Republicans who are in trouble should vote for the stimulus bill:

Now – President Obama’s approval rating is about 70%;

Congressional approval is still around 20%;

After the election, Democrats still have a 9 point lead in generic identification.

The public approves of the stimulus plan by a very large margin – the numbers vary with the wording of the poll question, but it’s at least a plus 40%.

Obama is the most talented political figure of our generation – Boehner and McConnell are, uh, less talented.

Obama’s got the megaphone, they’ve got…

Two points both like the article on strictly political grounds:

Does anyone remember the approval ratings for President Bush after 9/11 and before the votes on the Iraq war? That sure worked out for house members at the time didn’t it?

This is the same advice that might have been given to republicans in the first two years of the Clinton administration. Not taking it gave them control of the house for the first time in 40 years.

Anyone who thinks a vulnerable republican congressman who goes along with this plan will survive a primary challenge is silly. Remember our democrat friends were the same ones who told us McCain was the man to win with.

Bold prediction time: Anyone who thinks Obama will have approval ratings in the 60’s in two years is dead wrong. They will not be above 50%. It would not surprise me to see his ratings in the low 40’s.

Tim Blair notes that art for arts sake has now been replaced by Show me the money:

As the Obama administration tackles the challenge of shoring up the economy through infusions of capital and job creation, cultural leaders are urging the president not to forget arts institutions, which are also reeling from the market downturn.

“We wanted to make sure arts were not left out of the recovery,” said Robert L. Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, a national lobbying group. “The artist’s paycheck is every bit as important as the steelworker’s paycheck or the autoworker’s paycheck.”

Read the whole thing, nobody does a comedy fisking like Blair

DaTechGuy Jan 24th:

here is what I think the government should do outside of the normal functions of controlling the money supply and interest rates:

Do nothing.

That’s it, no stimulus, no bailouts, no directed loans. Let the business cycle work itself out.

The Politico Jan 28th:

In fact, government stimulus plans have a long history of failure. Remember last February’s $168 billion economic stimulus package? President Bush called it “a booster shot for our economy” and promised that it was large enough to have an effect. It wasn’t, and it didn’t work.

This time around, the Do-Nothing Crowd argues that the new spending — which dwarfs last year’s effort — is probably insufficient and definitely unwise. It is largely an economic argument. But there is also a cultural dimension. Many of the Do-Nothings argue that a painful recession is the best way to destroy America’s runaway culture of irresponsibility and debt. Economic turmoil, after all, has a way of grounding Americans.

Via Glenn who makes this statement of fact:

when it’s prudence vs. pork, prudence usually comes in a poor second.

I’d say when it prudence vs. almost anything it comes in a poor second.

…because we don’t have to rely on talking heads and the government to know what’s in the stimulus bill. We can just check online at

Not only can we read the bill but we can search it to find particular things that are hidden within it.

This means we have no excuse for ignorance and puts the blame for inaction on our part squarely on us.

Peter Robinson notes something:

Although I thought I’d already grown numb to the statistics, this one very nearly brought a fresh tear to my eye: In its present form, the bill, which contemplates spending about $825 billion, runs to 940 pages. That comes to about $877 million per page.

Hey we’re paying for this bill.

Yesterday commenting on the economic plan and what was being proposed and how it was done I had this to say:

This is what is happening , the ground is being prepared not for the recovery of the county’s economy but for the retention of power. If the economy recovers all well and good but if not they are going to be damn sure that they keep their majorities.

First things first after all.

Well it looks like someone a whole lot more knowledgeable than me on this has something to say about this:

Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing “eternal” power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.

I don’t claim to have the experience of Rush Limbaugh but remember first and foremost this is what it going on. Anyone who thinks it isn’t the case isn’t paying attention. economy

In my little blog post about bi-partianship I talked about the recovery not coming for at least 2 years and probably longer. Here is what I think concerning the economy, here is what I think the government should do outside of the normal functions of controlling the money supply and interest rates:

Do nothing.

That’s it, no stimulus, no bailouts, no directed loans. Let the business cycle work itself out.

This will of course not happen, there was (and is) an awful lot of money given by an awful lot of people in the hopes of getting a piece of government pie as Glenn Reynolds put it:

This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.

Given time the business cycle will work itself out. In fact if all we did was wait on the business cycle I suspect the recovery would come a whole lot sooner. One could if necessary one can provide some relief to individuals by extending unemployment and or increasing the earned income tax credit. (not my favorite choices but it would get money the people most likely to spend it to survive.) but large dough dumps to political friends when we don’t even know where the money goes aren’t going to do it.

If the Obama team was really smart they would make a much smaller bill with maybe the provisions listed above. If they absolutely HAVE to spend it on something a full going over of bridges and dams would be a good move followed by grants to state and local government for any needed repairs since the work needs doing anyway. Combine that with the unemployment and earned income tax thing and then stand pat. In under 4 years the business cycle would heal itself and he could rightly take full credit! Sometimes the smartest thing to do is nothing more than to keep a calm head.

Politically the instinct to do something dramatic is strong, the instinct to reward contributors is even stronger. (Particularly those contributors let in via the campaigns interesting use of credit cards) Given the president’s history of avoiding political risk it seems unlikely that he would resist these instincts assuming that he wanted to.

Well if one is going to offer criticism one should also offer a solution. This is mine.