Stimulus Update

By Brian Beutler

The Big Sensible Centrist amendment will be coming to the floor shortly. Who the hell knows what’s in it exactly, but it will reduce the size of the stimulus by somewhere between 50 and 100 billion dollars. If the proposals floating around earlier today are any indication, much of that money will come out of things like Pell grants and energy efficiency and, perhaps most importantly, state aid. That’s county hospital staff and public transportation service and teachers–possibly gone.

That amendment will likely pass as the price Reid had to pay to get maybe a handful of Republicans on board.

So, after a couple days of agonizing, is this an earth shattering disaster? Perhaps not. It’s not exactly good either. But forget the people on cable news who were alternately reading Obama’s obituary and claiming victory on his behalf. The argument shouldn’t be between those who think he won and those who think he lost–I don’t think those two camps really exist. It should be between those who on the one hand think this is the best bill we were ever going to get and those on the other who think it might’ve been approximately $100 billion better than it will be, if not for, among other things, 48 hours of miscues.