Gawd. If there’s one thing that irritates me more than the surge of Clintonesque talk about an “economic stimulus,” it’s all the useless politicians clambering to ride the bailout bandwagon. We have President Bush and Hillary Clinton out-bidding each other on the housing front. And now, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi begging Bush not to let the stimulus train leave the station without them.
The Hill reports:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday asked President Bush to meet with them to discuss an economic stimulus package after he returns from a Middle East trip.
The Democratic leaders expressed their concern over the “deteriorating state of the economy” and said they would urge Bush to work with the congressional majority to jointly fight off a potential recession.
“Prominent economists associated with Republican and Democratic administrations have called on us to supplement monetary policy with an immediate fiscal stimulus,” Reid and Pelosi said in a letter to Bush. “These same economists have stated that the most effective and responsible stimulus policies adhere to three simple principles: they must be timely, targeted and temporary.”
The Democrats expressed their desire to work with the White House and congressional Republicans “to immediately develop a legislative plan based upon these principles so it can be passed and implemented into law without delay.”
This made me snort:
Reid and Pelosi also cautioned Bush not to announce a plan on his own until both sides had met to discuss the issue.
Or else what?
Commenter libertyvista: “Why not get some judges confirmed and then we’ll talk.”
The NYTimes has more on this new stab at bipartisanship. Bipartisanship = watch your wallets:
The Bush administration and Congressional leaders, increasingly concerned about a possible recession, are moving closer to agreeing that an economic stimulus package is needed soon, Washington officials said Friday.
A Republican familiar with the administration’s thinking said Mr. Bush would present ideas to stimulate the economy, most likely in the form of tax relief, in his State of the Union message on Jan. 28. Mr. Bush will not decide on the details until he returns from the Middle East next week.
Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are also suggesting that they might be able to put aside longstanding partisan differences and work on a stimulus measure, lawmakers and aides said Friday.
In a fresh sign of the possibility of an agreement on a roughly $100 billion package of tax cuts and spending to spur the economy, Nancy Pelosi of California, the speaker of the House, and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, wrote to President Bush on Friday saying, “We want to work with you.”
On Monday, Mr. Bush acknowledged that Americans were “anxious about the economy” and said he was studying what actions to take. But this Republican, speaking anonymously to avoid pre-empting the White House, said, “If the decision was going to be ‘no,’ he wouldn’t have put that out there.”
Some Democrats say they could support tax relief focused on lower-income people and, perhaps, even tax cuts for corporations, if the White House and the Republican Congressional leadership accept some spending increases like extended unemployment benefits or aid to states to help them avert spending cuts.