It’s really remarkable to see all this talk, and even action, of people cutting things out from the recovery bill. Even more remarkable is that the folks doing the talking aren’t being compelled to provide any rationale for what they’re doing.
For Yglesias, the stimulus package needs to be enormous to be effective. Therefore it's cutting things from the stimulus package needs to be viewed with a great deal of scepticism, not the spending.
But it's possible to go further. As I understand Obama's pronouncements, the purpose of the stimulus package is both to reverse the current economic decline and enact fundamental change in the health and energy sectors.
In this light, the Obama administration might consider promoting the stimulus package in terms of three principles.
1. The stimulus package is designed to create a gigantic stimulus on the level of WWII. That's what's needed to prevent a slide from recession to depression.
2. The purpose of the stimulus is also to enact fundamental health reform and begin the transition to a green economy.
3. The stimulus package should also include reforms to keep Wall Street from driving the economy back into the ditch.
These are principles that the Obama administration could sell to the public. The Obama people just have to get out there and shill for it.