For the past week, the White House has been deliberately low-balling its estimates of what the plan the president unveiled tonight would actually include. When word started getting around this afternoon that this new stimulus would be set at $447 billion for the next year -- a rate higher than the $787-billion-over-two-years stimulus that Congress enacted in 2009 -- leaders of groups representing the Democratic base breathed a sigh of relief. The size and the substance of this new stimulus give Obama and his party the ability not only to rally many of his disenchanted core supporters but to reach out to voters in the middle of the political spectrum.
Of all the lies that the American people have been told the past four decades, the biggest one may be this: We’ll all come out ahead in the shift from an industrial to a post-industrial society. Yes, we were counseled, there will be major dislocations, as there were during the transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy, but the America that will emerge from this transformation, like the America that emerged 100 years ago, will be one whose citizens are ultimately more prosperous and secure than their industrial-era forebears.
What a crock.