Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: It'll All Work Out Somehow--Ben Nelson Promises

Monday, February 09, 2009

It'll All Work Out Somehow--Ben Nelson Promises

I've tried writing some nimble, cutting satire about the arguments for undercutting the stimulus, but I'm afraid I just don't have it in me tonight. The "centrist" senators are far too ham-handed in the points they're making for something clever to take hold. Take Ben Nelson, for instance, Democratic senator from Nebraska, who was responsible for working out the "compromise" that took money for education and state spending out of the bill. In response to Krugman's criticism that the Senate stimulus package takes out too much useful stimulus, Nelson told MSNBC that there's plenty of education spending in the bill. Well, we know that there's less than there was before the he and his Republican pals "fixed" it, but although Krugman touched on education funding in his column this morning, that wasn't his main point, and the quotes given to Nelson by Norah O'Donnell had no mention of education. But, because he seemed to be on a roll, he held to the education issue and said that it states wanted to spend more on education, then they had that ability.

Ah, yes. The states. The states whose funding was also cut in the "compromise." The states whose own budgets are being slashed because so many of them are forced to run balanced budgets and can't run a deficit to save their lives (which, for many people, is what it may come down to). The states described like this in Sunday's LA Times:

They have plundered reserves, enacted hiring freezes and engaged in all manner of budgetary voodoo to shield us from the pain.

But now state governments -- reeling from a historic free fall in tax revenue -- have run out of tricks. And Americans are about to feel it.

So don't worry. Ben Nelson says that if he cut out too much of the stimulus package, the states can just pick up the difference.

The only way to respond to people like Ben Nelson is by suffering. Not that he'll notice.


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