If the stimulus package passes, I imagine an Obama, Pelosi, and Reid celebration meeting that would go something like this:
Obama. Hey guys, we won again. Congratulations!
Obama, then Pelosi and Reid. Raucous laughter.
Obama. We just passed the biggest spending bill in history and I've only been president for a few weeks. We got the American people to buy a record amount of crap - crap we wanted albeit mostly crap they would never buy for themselves. We didn't even address housing and banking, the problems that started this mess. And they went for it. Looks like my National Catastrophe speech the other day worked like a charm.
Pelosi (letting the tears of joy flow freely). We are definitely in the driver's seat now. I'm living the fairy tale I always wanted.
Reid. And we have 205 weeks to go. The sky is the limit. What are we going to do next?
Obama. I'm glad you asked, Harry. I've already instructed my staff to meet with you and Nancy to create a master plan from each of our lists of the programs we weren't able to jam into the first stimulus package. Plus, we should discuss some of the things the American people should do to help with worldwide economic problems.
Pelosi and Reid (in unison). You mean George Bush caused the global recession too?
Obama, then Pelosi and Reid. Raucous laughter.
Pelosi (wiping tears away). But shouldn't we wait a while before we get started on the new stuff? I think we deserve a vacation.
Reid. I second that. I've been working pretty hard. Did you know I almost had to work late last week - remember when I threatened to burn the midnight oil?
Obama. You guys are right. I've even had to cut back on my court time and TV appearances. So, with the exception of press conferences to tout our success and the benefits of the first stimulus package, let's all kick back for a couple of weeks. Is that okay with you, Nancy?
Obama, then Pelosi. Raucous laughter.
Pelosi. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, what are your thoughts on the schedule for the next stimulus?
Reid. Yah, I'd like to know how long I'm going to have to be nice to Specter, Snowe and Collins.
Obama (furtively gazing at the family picture on his desk). I think Michelle will want us to have a draft ready a couple of weeks before the American people realize that the first stimulus is, well, crap. The timing on these things is tricky. It depends on how long it takes them to notice that they are getting a flurry of new and expanded government programs long before, or instead of, any measures that could improve the value of their homes and savings, their employment situation (public works jobs that go away when the work is done don't count) and their ability to borrow money.
Pelosi. That's why I wanted more things like Frisbee courses, water slides, eco-parks and neon signs in the original bill - so they wouldn't notice.
Reid. Good point, Nancy. But if you want to cry over spilt milk, don't forget that you didn't get a single Republican to defect. I was the one that got the votes for this fiasco.
Obama, then Reid. Raucous laughter.
Obama. That's funny Harry, but, unfortunately, they will notice. They'll notice the debt and the inflation. They'll notice that housing and credit will still be in the toilet. They'll notice that solar- and wind-energy will be late, over budget and still cost over 9 times more per KWH than oil, gas, coal or nuclear. They'll notice that bureaucrats driving their new hybrid cars and working in their new energy-efficient offices won't help them with their monthly utility bills and mortgage payments. They'll definitely notice our social engineering smackin' 'em up side their heads. They may even notice the huge government expansion. I'm telling you, it's a train wreck coming that even Democrats will notice. So, before it gets here, I think our best option for getting people to go for the next stimulus is to scare them again.
Obama (chuckling). It's funny how just three weeks ago I passionately told the American people in my inaugural address that I chose hope over fear, then turned right around and scared them into spending more money than they could imagine to fix a problem that, like all other recessions, would fix itself in a year or so anyway, without government help. So I don't see a problem doing it again. What's one more looming national catastrophe. Besides, when the first stimulus package fails, we won't say it failed. We'll simply say that it saved the economy from an even worse collapse and we probably should have spent even more money - you know, like what we said about the Bush bail-out. Hell, you saw me on the New New Deal cover of Time. FDR foisted bogus stimulus packages on the economy for almost 12 years. None of them worked, but he was credited with getting us out of the Depression. I'm bigger than FDR and I'm just getting started.