There’s something hilarious about the tone of this Washington Post “analysis” article on the stimulus package. Basically, the theme of the piece is that bipartisanship is good, that passing legislation is good, and that bipartisanship is good because it makes it easier to pass legislation, which is good. Lost in the fog somewhere is the point that it’s better to pass good bills than bad ones and that this stimulus package is a pretty bad one.
Indeed, the CBO estimated that the most effective stimulus idea would be a temporary boost in food stamps. They concluded that the second most effective stimulus idea would be an increase in the duration of unemployment benefits. Democrats proposed both of those things. But Republicans wouldn’t go along with either. So in order to make the bill bipartisan, the best idea was stripped out. And so was the second best idea. I don’t necessarily blame the Democrats for making the compromises necessary to get a bill passed, but the fact of the matter is that bipartisanship made this bill worse than a one-party bill would have been.