When I first heard Paul Krugman make the suggestion that we needed a second stimulus, I thought that I was only listening to a looney liberal pundit. Never in my widest dream did I think that significant Democratic politicians would suggest that we may need a second stimulus. Such suggestions are nothing short of a beautiful political gift to the Republicans.
First, the words second stimulus are perfect to be mentioned in the same sentence with snowballs and hell. In other words, the chances of passing a second stimulus are about as good as my going on a date with Carmen Electra tonight. (though I'd gladly eat crow on the first if the second happened) There is simply not enough money, time, or political will to come anywhere near passing it. Yet, the very debate surrounding the second stimulus is nothing short of a slam dunk for the Republicans.
First the very suggestion that we need a second stimulus is an inherent admission that the first one is failing. It allows Republicans to bring up the issue of unsustainable deficits. Furthermore, it splits the Democrats. Some will say that we need to give the first stimulus a chance to work. Others, like Krugman, will be more nervous and suggest that the economy is worse than we expected and we need to move more aggressively.
It's already split the administration. Laura Tyson has suggested that we need one while the president has suggested that everything is going on track. There is absolutely nothing good for Democrats in any debate over the second stimulus. The debate hits every Republican erogenous zone. It paints an administration and party that is totally out of control. Here we've spent nearly a trillion dollars and now they're saying it isn't enough. The folks overwhelmingly hate the first stimulus. The very suggestion of a second stimulus evokes perverse and visceral reactions.
Just imagine any political television debate between a Republican and a Democrat about a second stimulus. The Republican literally can't say anything wrong and vice versa for the Democrat. If the Democrat endorses the second stimulus, they also inherently admit the first stimulus failed. If they say a second stimulus is unnecessary, they'll also say that we've barely spent any of the first. That of course brings up the question why. Meanwhile, a Republican merely points out that the very fact we're even having this debate proves the stimulus failed.
This is a debate the Republicans should welcome and embrace.
Please check out my new books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall" and also, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers"