Scott Lilly makes a sharp but important point about congressional conservatives fretting that the stimulus plan isn’t sufficiently fast-acting:
It is unfortunate that government cannot turn on the spigots of job creation more rapidly, and that the damage already done to households and businesses cannot be repaired more quickly. Those were facts that Rep. Lewis and his House Republican colleagues should have weighed more thoughtfully when they blocked a smaller stimulus package in September. Had it been passed and implemented then, money would now be flowing and the precipitous drops in monthly employment that we are now enduring might have been significantly softened.
Right on. As I recall, at the time the objections were that the plan was (a) too big, and (b) too slow. Now, months later, the situation has gotten worse. And that necessitates a bigger stimulus. And because it’s bigger, it winds up having a slower payout time. And payout time aside, we’re necessarily talking about “later” since now we’re talking about passing something in February 2009 rather than September 2008. Now conservatives say we’re talking too big and too slow. But this could have been smaller and faster had they not been singing that same tune back in September.