Cantor’s idea for a third stimulus

CANTOR’S IDEA FOR A THIRD STIMULUS…. Last week, House Republicans, who’ve been wrong about every significant economic development of the last few decades, felt comfortable arguing that the economic stimulus package passed in February “is not working.” Paul Krugman called this kind of analysis “insane,” in large part because “hardly any of the money has flowed to the economy yet.”

Today, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) went a step further. We’ve gone from “is not working” to “did not” work in just a few days.

Pushing back against a possible second stimulus bill, Cantor asserted that the Obama administration-backed first $787 billion stimulus has not worked, and insisted that characterization has now become consensus.

“I think we all need to recognize that the first attempt of the stimulus bill did not stimulate the economy,” Cantor said in a conference call sponsored by the Republican National Committee (RNC). “I think we all agree on that now.”

Who’s “we all”? Apparently, Cantor and his right-wing cohorts who got together for a chat.

“We hear today now that there is talk in the administration and elsewhere that perhaps we should go on with a ‘Stimulus II,'” the second-ranking House Republican added. “Any mention of a Stimulus II implies that there was a Stimulus I that did anything to provide jobs and get the economy going again.”

Actually, it would be Stimulus III. The Minority Whip may not remember this, but the first was last fall, when Bush, with Cantor’s blessing, signed a bunch of new tax breaks intended to stimulate the economy. It had no effect, and the economy continued to spiral. The second was just signed into law four months ago, with much of the spending in the bill still heading out the door.

But don’t worry, Cantor is open minded about the future.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said that Republicans would work with President Obama on a second stimulus bill, as long as it’s like the tax cut-heavy package the GOP proposed earlier.

Ah yes, the all-tax-cut stimulus Cantor pushed in January. That, of course, was the “completely crazy” proposal that didn’t even try to stimulate the economy. Indeed, it’s been a little while since we had the debate, so it’s probably a good time to remind folks that “tax cuts are an ineffective economic stimulus.”

It’s just so tiresome listening to GOP leaders pretend to be grown-ups. They’ve sworn up and down for months that deficits are the scourge of modern government, but Cantor doesn’t mind adding hundreds of billions of dollars in debt now, just so long as it’s delivered through more ineffective tax cuts. Cantor has also spent the past few months bragging about how good the stimulus bill is for the economy in his district — a message he seemed to forget about this morning.