Shrewd Obama Pulls Stimulus Out Of His Hat
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Posted 12/09/2010 07:05 PM ET
Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 — and House Democrats don’t have a clue that he did.
In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years — which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election.
This is a defeat??????
If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign.
And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years — $630 billion of it above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts.
No mean achievement. After all, these are the same Republicans who spent 2010 running on limited government and reducing debt. And this budget-busting occurs less than a week after the president’s deficit commission had supposedly signaled a new national consensus of austerity and frugality.
Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way — mostly tax cuts — rather than the Democrats’ spending orgy of Stimulus I. That’s consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near-$1 trillion hole in the budget.