Part of the problem with the stimulus is that the different parties think “stimulating” means different things. I thought of this while looking at Ezra Klein’s post making fun of Michael Steele for making fun of fish passage barriers. It seems that Republicans see “stimulating” as growing GDP, making more stuff. They want to finance people buying things like cars and houses. Democrats (or at least some of us, I’m looking at you Ben Nelson) see “stimulating” as putting people to work doing things that are beneficial to society. We figure that if the point is to put someone to work, it would be better if they built a trail or let fish pass, rather than making a new house or car that we don’ t really need. It’s the difference between a capitalist stimulus and a quasi-socialist stimulus. Guess which one is better?

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