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Stimulating

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"Stimulating"

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Obama team looking at $700 billion in total stimulus. You should probably think of that as something more like $350 billion with a promise that there may be more, since they’re talking about spreading it over two years.

This seems appropriate to me, though obviously it’s much better to spend $350 billion (or $700 billion) on stuff that’s mostly worth doing on its own terms (useful infrastructure projects, etc.) than to waste it on pointless stuff (as much current infrastructure spending is) so the folks in charge of hammering out the details here are going to have an important role in determining the future of the country.

Note, however, some perverse political incentives. If the Senate GOP minority blocks needed stimulus and the economy fails to recover, I think the odds are good that the Democratic president and congressional leadership will be the ones to pay the price at the polls. Voters are pretty good at identifying who the incumbent party is, but not very good at assigning specific blame for specific policy outcomes.

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