The Wall Street Journal notes a stunning transformation--practically overnight--in the Democratic party. Where only weeks ago the deficit was a tremendous threat to the economy, it's now essential that we balloon the deficit to get the economy moving:
Mr. Rubin's successor at Treasury, Larry Summers, started the bidding with a $65 billion tax rebate and spending plan. Hillary Clinton saw that and raised, and now wants $40 billion in tax rebates and $70 billion in new spending for unemployment insurance, housing assistance, home heating subsidies and green technologies. Barack Obama joined the fray Sunday, proposing a $75 billion "stimulus" that would have the government send millions of Americans a check for $250, plus another $250 in bonus Social Security payments.
But wait, what about those evil Bush deficits? Only weeks ago, Democrats claimed those were the road to perdition, even if the deficit had shrunk to 1.2% of GDP last year thanks to booming revenue growth. Remember the imperative of "pay as you go" budgeting? Ah, that was all before Iraq faded as a political winner and the economy became their favorite issue for regaining the White House. Now, all of a sudden, their motto is tax cut and spend.
It'll be soothing not to have to listen to the feigned outrage of Democrats about deficits that are coming down rapidly. Further, the decision to chuck deficits in favor of stimulus spending will rob Democrats of the ability to demagogue the issue in the fall campaign. That alone, is reason enough to be pleased at this new development.