Is government stimulus becoming Doctor Otto Octavius' fusion reactor from the movie Spiderman 2?
This question came up to me today when I saw the Republicans have released their budget proposal to counter the Dems massive $3+ trillion version. The Republican budget appears similar in size, but includes tax cuts...which ( agree with Yglesias here, amazingly) means it would actually decrease government revenue without shrinking government spending.
But as far as stimulus goes, over the last 120 days, the language from the White House has mostly been that the previous stimulus almost worked and that the fundamentals are sound. "We checked our numbers! Peter Parker is wrong!"
And so they propose a larger stimulus that does effectively the same thing, increases government spending in a bold, new way.
But my fear is that the stimulus won't work, no matter how big. The fusion reaction just won't stabilize. A larger stimulus just increases the amount of damage the fusion reactor can do. Did a larger piece of tritium and a bigger reactor solve Doc Ock's fusion issues? No. Instead it threatened to destroy the city (and by fundamental laws of nature, the universe).
In the movie, we're all saved by Spiderman, who convinces Octavius to sabotage his own creation. Where is the fiscal conservative that can pummel some sense into both the Republican and Democratic parties? Right now they're in a battle for who can have the neatest, yet largest, spending package ever ever ever! Who will convince the Republicans and Democrats that with great power comes great responsibility, and they will throw themselves on their swords, stopping the deficit juggernaut before it destroys this country?
Will the next stimulus not quite work...but almost...pushing us towards an even bigger stimulus?
Gotta love an extended metaphor.