Paul Jacob

We need a new, bigger stimulus plan. Fast. Congress ought not think too hard about it. Or read it.

Or put it up online, for goodness sake. Just cobble together another 1,000 — or even 2,000 — pages, with lots of spending and thus lots of jobs created.

And if this stimulus doesn’t work?

“We have a responsibility to act,” President Obama argued in the face of news the unemployment rate jumped a half percentage point in February to 8.1 nationally.

“It’s premature to say we need another stimulus,” offers Mark Zandi at Moody’s Economic.com, an advisor to Democrats, “but the economy is performing much worse than when [the $787 billion stimulus legislation] was signed, and the odds are increasing that we’ll need a bigger policy response.”

Zandi adds that policy has thus far been a step behind the recession. “It’s important to get a step ahead.”

Indeed.

Most of all, if this new, bigger stimulus doesn’t work, we must stay the course, ready to enact an even newer, even bigger one.

How big?

Big enough. “I don’t know what the number is going to be, but it’s going to be a big number,” said Austan Goolsbee, one of Obama's favored economic advisers. The first stimulus was big, of course. Huge — as the next stimulus shall be, because as Goolsbee put it, “The point is to, kind of, get people back on track and startle the thing into submission.”

Quiet, please. Our leaders are urgently working to “fix” our economy. Who knows how many trillions they will need to borrow or print or confiscate from you, and then spend as only they know how, to provide the precise proddings of stimuli to “get the money where it’s needed.”

Are you out shopping yet?

The one thing we know for certain is that we cannot just do nothing. Some might call this an economic “correction.” Well, we cannot allow ourselves to be corrected. If we don’t act forcibly to “shock” the economy, wrote the president before the his first stimulus, “Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

One trick seems to be to borrow and spend fast enough to create jobs more quickly than the private sector can lose them. Our advantage, here, is that if any nation’s solons can lead such an international spending crusade, American politicians can. We’re No. 1 for that.

In fact, this economic trouble isn’t really all that big a deal. Our politicians are plenty talented enough to take on some other big difficulties, too.

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” informed Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff. And what he means, of course, is that in a crisis there “is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Like fixing health care. About time that was made to work better, don’t you think? When Congress and the President are through, we’ll be required to have quality, affordable medical care. Every single one of us. Like it or not.

Who better than the federal government to make something run efficiently with the very highest of quality?

But, best of all? Our new commitment to discover clean, renewable, green energy to power everything we want at low cost while providing millions and millions of jobs. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? A whole new way of life, thanks to President Barack Obama and our Congress making it a priority. Getting ’er done.

Given enough money to throw at it, I know the great discovery will come. If not, we’ll get more money.

Later, when Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid decide we’ve “turned the corner” on our economic woes, the federal government is going to really get fiscally disciplined, cutting spending, etc.

Just wait and see. It’s all very stimulating. The underlying principle is easy to grasp: If the nine-volt battery doesn’t stimulate, bring out the cattle prod. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the electric chair. 


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.