Second stimulus? Sure, why not?

The next government hand-out.                  (ap)

After last week's dismal jobs report, the White House is considering a new package of tax cuts and spending aimed to spur job creation. Don't call it a stimulus, though. Notes Bloomberg:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said there “were no plans” for a second stimulus like the $787 billion package passed earlier this year. Instead, he said, the administration is looking at “extensions” of existing programs.

“The economic team is certainly looking at and working on any way that we can create more jobs,” Gibbs said.

But a boost in infrastructure spending and an extension of unemployment benefits and a homebuyers tax credit sounds like a stimulus. At the Roosevelt Room blog, former Bush administration deputy press secretary Tony Fratto scores bonus points with Beltway Confidential by quoting 80s band Missing Persons, while wondering about the Obama message machine:

I actually feel sorry for reporters trying to unscramble this jumble box of White House commentary on the effects of the stimulus. They were told the economy early this year was on the brink of collapse, then told it was even worse than anyone thought — leaving reporters to contemplate “the brink”, while leaving unanswered the question of why an “even worse” economy didn’t require more stimulus…

Then they were told that stimulus would break records for speed, but later announced a plan to speed up the spending — but that the “speeding up” was all according to plan.

And now, reporters have been told that something can look and sound like a “stimulus” plan — in fact, it can contain the very same programs trumpeted in the earlier stimulus plan — but, alas — foolish reporters — it’s not stimulus. It may be a lot of things, but don’t dare call it stimulus.

Wait a second. Did Fratto say he feels sorry for reporters?! Fratto!

Do you hear me? Do you care?

 

 

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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