On the Art of ‘Stimulus’ Spending With Trump and Pelosi
President Donald Trump is one of the worst negotiators I have ever seen. One day, he tells House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) that the stimulus talks are over because she insisted on at least a $2 trillion deal and rejected the White House’s offer of $1.6 trillion. The next day, without Pelosi lifting a finger, the president comes back with an offer of nearly $1.9 trillion. Maybe if Pelosi waits, she’ll get her full $2 trillion after all.
Setting the puzzling negotiation tactics aside, this carelessness about American taxpayers’ money is shameful.
I know that everyone is supposedly now a Keynesian, and the refrain inside the D.C. Beltway is that failure to reach yet another so-called stimulus deal would guarantee economic disaster. In spite of evidence that government spending isn’t a miracle cure for the economy and that it’s often a bad investment, many Washington insiders lamented the president calling Pelosi’s bluff by saying that enough was enough and that negotiations were over. Until they weren’t.
So, here we are today. The White House’s new $1.88 trillion offer would reallocate $400 billion of the unspent funds from the previous COVID-19 legislation, for a total cost of about $1.5 trillion. Some Republicans find this apparent surrender by the administration to be incr
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