1. Any spending bill this Mama Cass-sized should first be read by the people voting for it in Congress and by the people who will spend the rest of their lives paying for it. Supporters of the stimulus bill call it a "seismic shift in the role of government in our society." Isn't it worth taking more than what, two weeks to plow through the details? The only people who tell you to hurry up and buy now are scam artists. We're not on the Titanic, for god's sakes. Any more than we were last fall when Hank Paulson was crapping his pants on an almost hourly basis.
2. Because it's all about giving aid to other levels of government, the stimulus will create a ton more jobs in state and local level, which means that state and local governments will be even more on the federal teat than they are now. Taking proponents at the word, "the stimulus package could create or save as many as 4 million jobs by the end of next year….Many of those jobs will be created in state and local government." Which means that in a couple of years, when the idiots running things at the state and local levels have run through their bailout cash, we'll be back to the same situation: A bloated public sector that needs yet another bailout.
3. The stimulus, assuming it's an equal mix of spending and tax cuts, will really help people out sometime after the recession has already ended. If (and it's a big if) the government spending is mainlined into the economy and the tax cuts are actual in-your-pocket-right-now sorts of things (as opposed to infrastructure projects and tax rebates), "a year or two from now, they'll [consumers will] be in better shape to spend more." No shit? Since World War II, there have been 11 recessions (not counting this one). The average length was 10.2 months; only two lasted more than 15 months. If you go back to 1900, the average length is 14.4 months. The current downturn started in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is tasked with deciding these things. Do the math and figure you can bet on the future and never be wrong.
All quotes above come from Allen Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics, who appeared in this godawful story in yesterday's Washington Post, stumping for quick government action.