Today's lead editorial urges Congress to get on with passing a stimulus package. We'd prefer that the political pork be kept to an absolute minimum, but the most important measure of success is one that gets money out into the economy quickly.
Before details of the prolonged and expensive postoperative rehabilitation are worked out, the doctor has to stop the patient from bleeding to death.
- President Obama is back on the trail trying to win support for his version of the stimulus.
- News Washington reporter Jerry Zremski outlines how the Buffalo area has so far failed to find many of its shovel-ready, stimulus-making projects on the short list for federal infusions.
- New York Times economics pundit Paul Krugman says the program now under discussion is too small and getting smaller due to pressure from the "the destructive center": The centrists, predictably, extracted a pound of flesh — not, as far as anyone can tell, based on any coherent economic argument, but simply to demonstrate their centrist mojo.
- But Michael Tomasky, the editor of Guardian America, says the stimulus package is proof that Obama has already pushed the political center leftward: I love the smell of stimulus spending in the morning. It smells like ... victory.
- The Burlington Free Press: Our policymakers must shed any notions that infrastructure is limited to bricks, mortar and pavement, and embrace the 21st-century reality that telecommunications, education and even health care are important part of our economic backbone.
- The Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis.: Gov. Jim Doyle and the Legislature must take care to use the money as a one-time economic infusion, not to fund ongoing programs.
- The Scripps News Service: One solution to the impasse, especially given the jobless figures, would be to strip out only those provisions that directly create jobs, such as the $43 billion for infrastructure construction and those that directly protect the jobless, such as extended unemployment benefits, increased food stamps, health care assistance -- and fast track those to passage.
-- George Pyle/Editorial Writer