Claire McCaskill, Stimulus And What’s Possible

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One week after I argued that my senator should be on MTP advocating for the stimulus package, well, there she is.


Yes, probably.

She even tweeted about it today…as well as some thoughts on the stimulus yesterday…

McCaskill brings up a point that I’d like to address because there’s been so much ill will on this blog for the current bill that I’d appreciate at least a little acknowledgment that the legislation that will pass next week is a compromise between Dems and Repubs. It may not be the bill you want, and there may be some stuff in there that you don’t agree with, but Dems have stripped out the silly 1% that Republicans decided to key in on, so they’ve moved towards them, not away from them. To suggest anything else is simply not accurate.

Also, Republicans have set up a transparently dishonest premise that compromise means cutting the bill in half and making the vast majority of it tax cuts. Regardless of your politics, I hope we can agree that there’s no way they can reasonably expect that their Democratic colleagues would adopt those ideas. Not after they oversaw this once-in-a-lifetime economic collapse.

In other words, it’s very clear now that the vast majority of Repubs were going to vote against this thing from the very beginning. So when people talk about the bipartisanship train going off the rails, it’s not Obama who put dynamite on the tracks.

But to McCaskill’s point about Krugman…there’s no such thing as a perfect bill. So if you’re arguing that Senate Dems are simply slaves to Keynesian ideology and they’re using this crisis to prove it, then you’re not paying attention to what’s going on. Ideologues like Krugman would like a $1.2 trillion bill and has said as much. But politics is the art of the possible, and McCaskill rightly argues that without the current cuts, there wouldn’t be the votes to pass it.

So before liberals start to pile on the more moderate politicians, just remember who made it possible that we even were able to do something about this economic crisis in the first place.