Republican senators are still fighting to cut the stimulus package, which has pissed President Obama off. At a press conference today introducing his new Economic Recovery Board, he called their refusal to roll over “inexcusable and irresponsible,” which is about as tough as he gets when he’s not reading aloud excerpts from his own book. Obama pointed to this morning’s lousy job numbers, he said he hoped they were reading them “at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” and that the senators “share my sense of urgency and draw the same, unmistakable conclusion: the situation could not be more serious. These numbers demand action.”
At the Times Paul Krugman wonders: if the Republicans are demanding $100 billion in cuts to the plan, as he presumes, “in order to be able to say that they forced Obama to move to the center… shouldn’t Obama have made a much bigger plan, say $1.3 trillion, his opening gambit?” It may that, as elements of the GOP base are livid that they’re discussing a stimulus at all, Republican senators are compelled to at least look like wreckers a little while longer. Obama clearly expects smaller cuts than are now envisioned. We’ll see soon enough what he gets, and how he reacts.