The Stimulus Driven Deficit Disaster Trap

I threw a kind word Mitch McConnell’s way for slowing down the stimulus package, but now our fearless Senate Minority Leader, Losey McLosington, is signaling that the GOP will back the stimulus package.

Two Things.

#1) Controlling government spending and the growth of the government is at the core of what it means to be a conservative and a Republican. Signing off on a trillion dollar deficit cuts directly against everything the GOP and conservatism stands for.

#2) Granted, Mitch McConnell isn’t very bright, decisive, talented, inspiring, charismatic, competent, or popular, but even he should be able to figure out that this is a trap! As Jon Henke points out,

If Obama passes the perfect progressive stimulus bill without much Republican help, he owns the spending, the deficits, the tax hikes and all of the pain that comes with it. Republicans will be happy to run against those problems in 2010 and 2012.

But if Obama buys significant Republican support for his bill, Republicans will own the deficits, tax hikes and intervention, as well. The stimulus bill will be for Republicans what the Iraq war was for Democrats – a policy they first supported, then regretted, then tripped over themselves to explain. The “they were for it before they were against it” ads would be inevitable and devastating.

Why can’t these guys ever stand up for conservative principles — or even if they don’t want to do that, think a few months ahead instead of just taking the easy way out without considering how it will ultimately play out over the long-term?

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