A Win is a Win


Longtime reader commenting on the stimulus deal:

Like everyone else, I’m waiting for the details. But from what I’ve heard so far, this seems to be a remarkable triumph for the new president.

A month ago, Obama economists Romer and Bernstein released job-creation projections that “assumed a package just slightly over the $775 billion currently under discussion.” Lo and behold, the final bill comes in at $789 billion. It reportedly includes Obama’s proposed tax cuts, comprising almost exactly the same proportion of the overall package. For the past month, media attention has focused on all the changes to the package, and on the controversies it has engendered. Obama has been criticized for failing to forge a bipartisan consensus, for not safeguarding his priorities, and for not taking a sufficiently aggressive role in the negotiations on the Hill. So it’s worth stepping back to take note of the fact that the final package looks remarkably like what Obama has wanted all along. In fact, it’s closer to that original proposal than to either the House or Senate versions of the bill. Remarkable.

Whether or not it’s the right package is a whole separate topic. But as a legislative achievement, coming so early in the term, this is astonishing.


David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.