How to Vote on the Stimulus?

From the point of view of most economists, it appears the stimulus package is both too small and misspent. The question is, then, should Congressional Democrats vote for it?

From The Hill (via Firedoglake):

Liberals in the House are already making noise that they might vote against the conference bill if it mirrors the Senate legislation.

Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said last week, “Many of us may not support it in the House” if the Senate makes “so many changes,” such as adding more tax breaks and cutting spending provisions, which is what the Senate did.

I certainly understand their position – I’m furious with the spending cuts that were made and tax cuts that were added in the Senate, although I think the House bill was also too small. However, on the otherside you have economists.

Here is Paul Krugman:

Today Sen. McCaskill asks whether the Senate stimulus, as negotiated, is better than nothing.

Yes, it is — and if it comes down to that choices, a yes vote is the right thing to do.

But let’s not have any illusions about what just happened. The centrists went to work on a bill that, perhaps inevitably, was a mixture of economic muscle and useless fat; as the price of their support, they cut deeply into the muscle while leaving all the fat in place.

And Brad DeLong has a roundup of others, many who argued for more tax cuts, but say the bill needs to be passed regardless.

Personally, I don’t think a liberal revolt in the House would be productive, as much as I’d personally like to see it. I’d rather see a strong effort in the conference committee. The stimulus is so necessary that I don’t believe this is the time for this fight. Instead, I’d like to see the House add more stimulus spending at points further down the line, and fight the Senate, or the President, over those.

Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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