Paul Krugman explains how the "heartless, confused and clueless" (Republicans, generally) denied an extension of unemployment benefits.
But won’t extending unemployment benefits worsen the budget deficit? Yes, slightly — but as I and others have been arguing at length, penny-pinching in the midst of a severely depressed economy is no way to deal with our long-run budget problems. And penny-pinching at the expense of the unemployed is cruel as well as misguided..
So, is there any chance that these arguments will get through? Not, I fear, to Republicans: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something,” said Upton Sinclair, “when his salary” — or, in this case, his hope of retaking Congress — “depends upon his not understanding it.” But there are also centrist Democrats who have bought into the arguments against helping the unemployed. It’s up to them to step back, realize that they have been misled — and do the right thing by passing extended benefits
Brummett this morning, too, grapples with the question of cutting spending in the face of hard times or priming the economic pump with government money.
Meanwhile, the Walmart folks have come up with a stimulus program — SBA-backed loans to small businesses in hopes they'll spend the money at Sam's Clubs. Government-backed loans sounds a lot like government stimulus, doesn't it?