Continuing with its hurry-up offense on the stimulus bill, Obama adviser (and former Clinton Treasury Secretary) Larry Summers tells Fox News:
"We've got to work through the differences, find the best bill we possibly can, and get it in place as quickly as possible," Lawrence Summers, a top Obama economic adviser, told "Fox News Sunday," noting some 600,000 jobs were lost last month.
"If there was ever a moment to transcend politics, this is that moment," said Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council.
You bet they have to get it in place as quickly as possible: Despite the continuing slide in the economy (abetted by the last great government bailout of the economy from just last year), jes' plain folks are against the current package, which they view rightly as platter of pork rinds cast before swine (or something).
Support for the basic legislation is weak, with half of voters figuring it will make things worse, and Obama's own approval ratings are slipping too. Will Congress bother to listen to its bosses, Ma and Pa Kettle, who are against this stuff, at least as currently constituted?
We say it often here, but any time a political operative such as Summers says it's time to "transcend politics," you know it's not good. The manic rush to pass a monster-sized piece of legislation that its own supporters claim will transform the economic landscape from desert sands to lush oasis is reason enough to slow down.
Anything that important deserves, I don't know, a couple of weeks' serious discussion, doesn't it? The fear-mongering over last fall's TARP legislation proved quite recently that fear-mongering a) is by definition over-hyped and b) leads to bad results (hence the continuous rewriting of TARP). And like the TARP fight, this current spectacle is the economic equivalent of The PATRIOT Act, another piece of overwrought legislation that failed to get the scrutiny and public discussion it desperately needed.