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The Republicans' Opportunity

“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education.”

With this key sentence from his op-ed in the Washington Post today, President Obama has given Republicans a golden opportunity: Insist on splitting the legislation being debated on the Senate floor into a true short-term stimulus, which can pass quickly, and long-term policy proposals, which require serious debate.

Republicans should stop trying to improve the unimproveable with small-bore amendments to the current legislative package. Instead, they can point out that Obama is supporting under the guise of emergency legislation a bloated catch-all of stimulus, pork and (often bad) policy. They can make clear that Republicans will support a real short-term stimulus (pro-growth tax cuts, housing measures and a few targeted spending provisions unemployment and COBRA extensions) that meets Larry Summers’s criteria of being targeted, timely and temporary. They should introduce such a measure as a substitute -- “The Emergency Economic Growth Bill of 2009” -- and trumpet their vigorous support of it. And they should insist that all the “energy, health care and education” proposals be debated in an orderly and serious way in the regular legislative process -- not jammed through as part of an emergency “stimulus.”

This strategy depends on GOP willingness to slow the process down and to challenge Obama’s arbitrary Presidents’ Day deadline. The Republican position should be: We’ll pass on this emergency timetable a real stripped-down emergency stimulus. But if Obama insists on legislation incorporating an alleged “strategy for America’s long-term growth,” then the country deserves hearings and debate that obviously will take some time. And Republicans should make clear they cannot agree to limiting debate to a couple of days on such momentous long-term legislation.

In other words: If Obama wants a stimulus, Republicans will give it to him tomorrow. It’s the president’s and the Democrats’ insistence on incorporating a huge and problematic policy agenda in this one bill that’s delaying action. Why then, Republicans can ask, is President Obama delaying a necessary, short-term, emergency growth package?

By William Kristol  | February 5, 2009; 8:41 AM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Next: The Third Time's Farce


Who was it that called Kristol a domestic terrorist?

Sarah Palin?

Posted by: lichtme | February 5, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Why is this loser here?
Newspaper business is certainly in decline.

Posted by: edlharris | February 5, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Common-sense plan. Do the clearly job-generating stimulus quickly.

Separate legislation for broader policy debates on items that clearly would not have a near-term economic impact (other than further bloating the deficit).

Posted by: DagnyT | February 5, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Will someone ask Kristol or Kylk or any Republican or Conservative for that matter where was this stress on fiscal responsibilty when the Republicans held all three branches of government and ran up the deficits to unprecidented heights? And where in God's name is any kind of sympathy voiced for the thousands of unemployed. Kyl talks in disdain about the $500 tax cut for the working poor. What does Kyl think these poor people are going to do with the $500? Redecorate their offices? Buy a corporate jet?

I know that in this free country that it is acceptable to believe anything but Republ;icans should have the guts to get up in front of the American people and tell us what they believe and preach: The Middle Class and the Poor - DROP DEAD!

Posted by: nyrunner101 | February 5, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Kristol hit the nail right on the head.

The problem with this bill is not enough stimulus, and too much other stuff. Between long term initiatives that Democrats have pulled out of their filing cabinets and giveaways to their constituents, they've hijacked the idea of stimulus for their own agenda.

"And why not?", one might say. "After all, they won the election." True enough, but if aiding the economy is as important as they say, why not have a bill with this exclusive focus? Long term agenda items can and should wait for another bill. They can pass more than one bill this year, right?

Instead, they're trying to tack on a mix of unrelated items, including some items that smell like fried bacon.

Posted by: postfan1 | February 5, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Didn't this guy get FIRED from the NYT....why do I have to see his face & simplistic writing in the Wash. Post. The Post is making a mistake by giving this divisive, war-mongering, fool a position and space in their paper.

Posted by: YGandB | February 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, you are without a doubt a pig-eyed sack of human excrement.

Why would the WP even hire this POS? He's been wrong about everything and his writings have helped put the US where it is.

Posted by: artmann11 | February 5, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

But Kristol, your boys don't like stimulus. They like tax breaks, which don't stimulate and which are largely irrelevant to average americans right now.

Posted by: sophie2 | February 5, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So Kristol looks in his crystal ball and sees a resurgence if a failed Party (that he helped to fail) using the same policies that have been rejected by the voters.
What is it about the likes of Kristol, Karl and Krauthammer? Are they living in the same bubble as their heroes, Bush & Cheney? What is it about rejection that they don't understand? Is it that they have never heard of that definition of insanity: Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
And what is it about the Washington Post that immediately hires scribblers rejected by a competitor? Surely, there must be a writer on the right of the political spectrum that has new, enlightened ideas about the government and politics . . . hmmmmmm, forget I said that.

Posted by: hyjanks | February 5, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Oddly enough, I actually agreed with the gist of this. (I'm not a big Kristol fan, but I do try to stay informed on more than one point of view.) Just substitute "Congress" for "Republicans" and we're good to go. As in, *Congress* should quickly pass a stripped-down emergency bill containing only the short-term temporary measures needed to keep the economy from tanking while they carefully work through the strategic measures (energy, health care, education, etc.). This changes the whole focus from "how can Republicans get back into power" to "how can all of us get together and do something that actually works." Now is not the time for partisan warfare.

Posted by: n_mcguire | February 5, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I keep hearing that there is too much pork and not enough stimulus in this package. Kristol says there is too much long term and not enough short term simulus measures.

So exactly which parts of the plan are pork? Which are the bloated long term items that need to be seriously debated?

I haven't heard specifics from the Republicans (or a better plan for that matter) nor from the likes of Kristol and many posters.

Republicans play the "bring me a rock" game. Bring me a rock. But not that rock. So let's hear exactly which rock you want.

Posted by: agolembe | February 5, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Same old tired nonsense that has been spouted since the Ronald Reagan years. When are we going to learn that huge tax cuts for the wealthy and unlimited deregulation is a stimulus....stimulating big-time greed, increased poverty and huge deficits. Why is the media giving so much voice to those who espouse tired policies that were rejected in the recent election? Let's have the courage to stand up for effective change.

Posted by: dmiller3 | February 5, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I knew that the economy wasn't going to improve no matter what the Democrats did and that eventually Americans would see behind the Obama PR machine. I just didn't realize it would happen this quickly. The faster you rise the harder you fall?

Posted by: kenpasadena | February 5, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"Why is the media giving so much voice to those who espouse tired policies that were rejected in the recent election?"

Because news corporations are wh ores too? They know who signs their checks. Republicans are for corporations and the very wealthy. That's obvious. Now these same corporations prop the party up with jobs like this for Kristol.

They are part of the problem.

Posted by: artmann11 | February 5, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol? Damn this paper has gone down hill.

Posted by: fletc3her | February 5, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey Billy,

Have you considered the fact that the American-hating Repubs won't agree to a stimulus package no matter what's in it?

They're staking their entire future on America failing. They won't lift a finger to actually help America because they want to gain a few seats in 2010.

They are putting politics ahead of Americans. Cuz they suck. Suck big huge elephant balls.....

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | February 5, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah....I forgot to add. Bill freakin Kristol???

Why oh why would you give a job to someone so consistently wrong?

If you had the bases loaded with 2 outs in the ninth would you bring in a pinch hitter who was batting 0 for his career?

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | February 5, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Gerson, now Kristol; why has the publisher turned the Post into a shelter for homeless neocons? If Watergate happened today these guys would be helping Nixon cover up.

Posted by: hairguy01 | February 5, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

First, I'll repeat what I posted in my comments regarding Obama's op-ed:

I choose to give qualified support to Obama's plan. I say "qualified" because I would like to add these conditions:

1. Transparency - Obama has taken a good first step by implemening which will keep track of all spending.

2. Ability to quickly cancel appropriations that do not help.

Philisophically, I'm not with the Republican argument about using tax cuts on payroll. I'm OK on tax cuts to stimulate ecology. Giving money back with no intended spending or investment by its recipient will not necessarily create new jobs - if we want to create American jobs lets reward the job creators directly - when and only if they actually create them (and the businesses can pass on the money to investors tax free).

We know the spending plan is not a silver bullet and will increase our debt - that does worry me. Also, one of the root causes of the mess we're in is due to individual and collective waste of money causing higher debt (and allowing banks to come up with these prepostorous schemes). So we're in for a rough ride and we may see some lifestyle changes over the next 3-5 years.

But let's give the President's plan a chance, we can save some jobs, create more demand and hopefully reverse the spin.

As far as Mr. Kristol's comments go, I'm glad he supports the short-term stimulus in principal, but he always wishes to give the political angle, not the "what is best for the country" angle. Furthermore, the Republican counter-proposal needs to be cut at its knees. We've tried indiscriminate tax cutting. It does not result in American jobs. The Republican argument is "Give people the money, they will spend it wisely". Our huge collective debt, our foreign spending (outsourcing) and investments, and others too numerous to mention belie this theory.

The recovery must be demand-driven, and it must be targeted to US Employment and US spending.

Finally, besides posting in these blogs, people need to call or write their representatives. We shouldn't let the media decide - we're paying our reps to do the right thing.

Posted by: arotnemer | February 5, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yup, tax cuts that won't help the millions that have lost their jobs but will, undoubtedly, heavily favor the already rich and infamous.

Housing tax credits that favor Wall Street developers and mortgage bankers who will steal the money by raising their prices, fees and interest rates.

And last, but not least, extensions to COBRA that will heavily favor Wall Street's private insurance industry at the expense of the both those who have lost their jobs and American taxpayers.

Kristol's typical GOP/neo-con tactics, steal from the working-class and handout to the leisure-class.


Posted by: DEFJAX | February 5, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Relax people. He's offering an objective view at this thing. It's actually the best idea to get this thing back on track.

The Stimulus Plan should be just that - what's going to create jobs NOW.

The rest is long-term initiatives that have tons of merit, but are not designed or intended to put people back to work in 2009.

Posted by: spottedowlfan | February 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Kristol has been so wrong, so often. Seriously, has this man had a correct and/or relevant thought in the last 8 yrs? I love it!! Really, each time Billy Boy writes an article it only proves how intellectually bankrupt the far right is. Thanks for the laughs Mr. Kristal.

Posted by: tony773 | February 5, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Gag me. Why is this one-trick pony who parrots the failed policies that got us into this mess being given a platform here? It's not like we don't know what he is going to say before he says it no matter the subject. "Tax cuts for the rich . . . tax cuts for the rich."

"More war for oil . . . more war for oil."

Kristol is the problem, not the solution.

Posted by: SarahBB | February 5, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the american people voted in W for a second term - and while he did considerable damage the first four years to the economy he really got down to business in his second term.

And then low and beyond the Chinese had the audacity to stop loaning us money. Shame on them!

And now the patient's almost dead and we are trying to bring her back to life again and her malefactors are critcizing the President for trying to save her.

In Texas they have a saying - it's time to hang 'em high. Billy are you with us or ag'in us.

Posted by: agapn9 | February 5, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Kristol is the original wingnut. Short term action and long term growth are two sides of the same coin -- like gears in an engine. These times are too serious for advocating obstruction. A dark twisted mind, he has.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

It's brilliant ideas like these that got Mr. Kristol fired from the NYT in the first place.

Posted by: August30 | February 5, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

huh!?!?! comments such as:

"Kristol, you are without a doubt a pig-eyed sack of human excrement.

Why would the WP even hire this POS? He's been wrong about everything and his writings have helped put the US where it is.
are an embarrassment to open-minded people everywhere."


"Oh yeah....I forgot to add. Bill freakin Kristol???

Why oh why would you give a job to someone so consistently wrong?

If you had the bases loaded with 2 outs in the ninth would you bring in a pinch hitter who was batting 0 for his career?"

are an embarrassment to open-minded people everywhere. please don't waste my time scrolling down the page if you have nothing substantive to add.

Posted by: thickman22 | February 5, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

After 8 years of Bush and Republican economics that favors corporations and the wealthy, does the Republican party really think they still have any credibility with the American public at large? I think the last election shows where the hopes of the American people lie, and it's not with them. I applaud Obama for insisting on accountability, which was also been lacking in the previous administration and the Congressman who blindly followed them.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | February 5, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Kristol's persistent presence is evidence of the collapse of the U.S. Sad really.

Posted by: jmurphy1 | February 5, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, you are no longer relevant. WP, what were you thinking, this guy's an idiot.

Posted by: sgoldpsta | February 5, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol,

When I doubt my position on a subject I always read your columns. Because not only are you wrong on the issues -- you are consistently wrong.

Dogmatic to a fault, and not above revisionist history when it comes to self-justification. The barometer should be "what would Bill Kristol do?", and then do exactly the opposite.

It staggers me why you continue to be given credence in National publications, when your record clearly indicates you deserve none.

Posted by: mohowerton | February 5, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Let me put as simply as possible what this article tells us. In Nevada, they have discussed taxing prostitution. If that happens, Bill Kristol should be worried about his income.

Posted by: greenm1 | February 5, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

FIRST, the vast majority of this money will not even benefit anything until 2011, 2012????
Second, Americans need tax breaks .... If we the American people did not pay taxes for one full year that will create more stimulas for the economy than this stimulas package.
Third, The Republicans need to stand firm and not VOTE for this porkbelly spending. :)

Posted by: 56lady | February 5, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Why did Kristol slither over here from the NYTimes?

Imagine a brain like Kristol's against that of President Barack Obama.

"Obama is supporting under the guise of emergency..."

Failure to recognize that there is a financial emergency for the average American, the majority of the populations is just one example of the 'brain droppings' of Kristol.

Posted by: mtw0310 | February 5, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

What good is a tax cut WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB!!!???!!!

Posted by: creamit20 | February 5, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It's crap like this that got you fired from the New York Times, Kristol. You're just wrong, and the sooner you realize that and crawl back into the hole that you crawled out of, the better off this country will be.

Go peddle your garbage somewhere else -- like to the dittoheads on Faux News.

Posted by: gr8day4bsbll | February 5, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Why all the personal slants on the author?

Anyone who knows anything about the legislative process recognizes that something needs to happen to get this package going.

And anyone who has any sense of math and economics,can recognize that there is a difference between job-creating money pumped the economy this year is different than social policy initiatives aht may benefit it years down the road.

It's a legitimate idea - seperate the bills so that Obama and Pelosi don't continue to look bad to Americans that aren't stupid enough to buy that it's "all stimulus".

Get with reality, folks

Posted by: spottedowlfan | February 5, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Isnt it funny how republicans always become more fiscally responsible when they no longer control the spending? That said republicans should demand fiscal responsibility and Obama should work with them. In the end both will come out looking good in the same fashion that Bill Clinton and the republican congress both could take credit for creating a surplus in the 90's. If republicans are just intent on slowing down Obama just to say he hasn't done the job they will look bad with him as well.

Posted by: ged0386 | February 5, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives had their opportunity to lead this country into great economic prosperity and they blew it. Tax cuts and laissez-faire economics don't work. Supply-side, trickle down economics don't work.

About the only thing conservatives are good at is obfuscation and misleading the American people.

With that said, you should feel right at home on the editorial pages of the WaPo.

Posted by: rkrenke | February 5, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Kristol is worry about spending, Wow, the Master of deception of WMD in Iraq is talking again, and best the Washington Post is giving him space to write his Garbage. Common Washington Post the guy was wrong for the past 8 years 100% of the time you still give him space to write his wrong ideology.

Posted by: tqmek1 | February 5, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Why does anyone listen to this guy Kristol? He is NOT an economist, and I think economists should be out there telling us about the stimulus.
But worst of all, this guy is a Neocon; he formed Project for a New American Century; he was a driving force behind Bush getting us into the Iraq War. He should no longer be a source for any advice in this country.

Posted by: Denjudge | February 5, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Kristol has no credibility. If arguments need to made against this bill, get a different messenger.

Posted by: nita3 | February 5, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is a moderate. We don't like moderates in the Republican Party. He needs to change his voter registration and go away.

Posted by: twbarr25 | February 5, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Leftists are always into attacking the messenger, which is what they are doing here to Kristol. They don't like debate or dissent. All hail the Great Leader!

Well I agree with Kristol, if the president wants emergency economic stimulus then that is what he should be sending Congress. If he wants long-term leftist big-government solutions, that's by definition not an emergency and should be debated separately. By linking the two,it is Obama and the Democrats, and NOT the Republicans, who are holding up the stimulus.

Posted by: Charlie1978 | February 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol when was the last time you were right?
About anything?
In your life?

Posted by: Canonera | February 5, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Funny! The New York Times finally scrape off their shoes, and WAPO steps right back into it!

Bill Kristol. Poor logic? Check. Stylistically amateurish? Check. Demonstrably wrong on huge issues. Check. Given to asserting comical whoppers as settled matters of fact? Double check. Exemplar of using the family name in lieu of having talent to get Peter Principled to astronomical heights? Check again. Although I can think of another candidate who just moved out of DC.

Ah, how I wish the snide Mr. Kristol could really understand the reason his writing is so disliked. Bill, I'm sure you think it's because you harbor tough but necessary republican values and convincingly articulate them. Wrong. You drive people crazy because you are so damn awful at what you do, yet your mug continues to show up in the MSM for some inexplicable reason.

Oh wait, is is explicable. It's your old man, coupled with the dearth of talent amongst republican propagandists. Without those, I imagine you'd be a fine middle manager in a retail chain somewhere.

Way to go WAPO! Who's next? Fred Barnes is a scintillating logician! Maybe you could reel that towering scholar into your pages. He's certainly consistent with the other hacks finding refuge here.

Posted by: xSamplex | February 5, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post,
Please do not add William Kristol to your list of regular conservative op-ed writers.

Already I get indigestion working my way through Geo F Will, Gerson, Krauthammer, Fred Kaplan, Fred Hiatt.

But thank you very much for Kathleen Parker. Chris Buckley would be a welcome conservative voice as well.

Posted by: ChokoChuckles | February 5, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Republicans overthrew a defenseless oil reserve for oil contracts, handed out tax money on pallets, bank in the Caymans, sign secret signing statements, torture, murder, rape and pillage, spy on journalists, environmentalists, anti-war protestors, lawyers and God knows who else, tax us for Jesus and call themselves conservatives, mainstreamers. The only thing a Republican does well is kill something so expect them to murder your future in cold blood. Stupid is as stupid does, said Forrest.

Posted by: rhyer | February 5, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

One might have thought that the fiasco that is Amity Shlaes ("Phil Gramm was Right," etc.), would have embarrassed the Post into seeking out a credible conservative rather than taking the NYT's sloppy seconds.

But nooooooo.

Actually, there's no point in arguing with the "substance" of anything Kristol says (or Shlaes or any others of their ilk). It's like arguing with a Holocaust denier -- nothing you say is going to change their mind, while you'll begin to lose yours when confronted with their absolute imperviousness to both facts and logic.

I've been reading a good history of the Great Depression ("The Great Depression"), by Robert S. McElvaine. The most striking thing about it is the how Republicans used the same arguments to attack the New Deal that they're using against Obama now.

(And if you think most Americans didn't think they were better off in 1940 than they were in 1932, please explain the election of 1940 -- in which Wilkie peddled the same Republican mantra of tax cuts, Democratic socialism, and -- ooga, booga! -- EVIL SPENDING!)

Ah, what's the point? It's been clearly established that the Dittoheads aren't the least bit chastened by the election. Now the plan is to plants landmines and IEDs in the road, and then complain that traffic is moving slowly.

Congratulations, WaPo, on your new columnist. To paraphrase Jefferson, I guess people get the newspapers they deserve. (And vice versa.)

Posted by: dwiltzee | February 5, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so angry?
What happened to "Hope"?
And "Change"?
And a new America of "coming together" and "rising above the bitterness of the past"?

Posted by: spottedowlfan | February 5, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, the neocon, still lives. What a pathetic argument that he makes for the exiled Repubicans.

Regardless of the "empty suit" charges of the right, Obama is a smart man. His comments at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning indicate a President who is very much in touch with himself and the nation. He is the real deal.

Posted by: EarlC | February 5, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

No one elected William Kristol. The NYTimes got rid of him -- good thing -- so why is he here? Can we ask him politely to go away, please?

Posted by: aevans11 | February 5, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush

1. First legislative rollback of abortion
2. Destroyed two dictatorships and paved the way for Arab Democracy
3. Stayed in Iraq and ultimately stabilized the country when everyone thought it to be impossible
4. Kept us safe from further attacks after 9/11
5. Cut taxes to ensure an economic recovery after the tech bubble
6. Appointed constitutional scholar and patriot John Roberts to the Supreme Court
7. Successfully pulled India and Pakistan away from the nuclear brink and fostered diplomatic ties between the two countries
8. Largest aid package to combat AIDS in Africa--ever
9. Rebuilt our military and our prestige in the world after Kenya bombings, Somalia, 1993 WTC, and USS Cole

God bless this man. God help us all.

Posted by: nsb503 | February 5, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It is absurd to suggest that Republicans have some substantive reason for opposing the stimulus bill. It doesn't matter what the bill says, the Republicans are intent upon blocking anything and everything which comes from the Obama administration, regardless of the consequences for the nation. Republicans do not have any plans of their own, aside from continuing to loot the system and enrich themselves as they did under Reagan and both Bushes.

If Kristol or the Congressional Republicans were capable of thinking past their own wallets and ego-trips for one instant, they would see that the right thing to do is to support the President and the stimulus package so that America can get moving again. But that won't happen, because the only things a Republican cares about are being richer than everyone else and keeping caucasian males in positions of power. The stimulus package does not address either of their concerns, so of course, they disapprove.

The Republicans are marching in lockstep with their new Decider, Rush Limbaugh, and joining in the chorus of "We hope America fails!"

Posted by: mgloraine | February 5, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing. The Republicans want debate.
They didn't want debate when it came to the huge and problematic Patriot Act.
They didn't want debate on Dick Cheney's Energy Policymaking -- that was allowed to be secret.
They didn't want debate on the Tax Cuts for the wealthy or the changes to prescription drug coverage.
They didn't want debate on going to war half-cocked and without world support.
They didn't want debate on FISA and wiretapping, opting for secrecy and a gang of eight, instead of Congress and the law.
They didn't want debate on the $700 billion bailout of the millionaires on Wall Street.
Amazing that Kristol thinks we need debate on America's future, now. Maybe had there been debate on these Republican measures some them would have been shot down, and we'd be in better shape now.
The pendulum has swung Billy. The Repug's had their opportunity for six years without an opposition. What did they do? They created this crisis we're in now.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | February 5, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"In other words: If Obama wants a stimulus, Republicans will give it to him tomorrow" Billy boy- who won the last election by a convincing margin? you'll give it to him tomorrow?? How about shut up and let the man do his job. You had your eight years and managed to @!*& up just about everything. Why should you be listened to now? don't hit me with a hammer just because it feels good when you stop!

Posted by: dboston | February 5, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes! What's with The Post publishing someone who disagrees with Obama? Kristol should be taken to the camps for re-education. The man is not only questioning Exalted Leader but he is speaking openly against his Vision. Can't have that, can we?

Posted by: ringo2 | February 5, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Finally! A sane suggestion for the political morass in Washington these days. I'm with you Mr. Kristol, even though what you propose likely makes too much sense. Yet maybe someone will have the courage try it your way. If they do, let us know right here in your column--I'll be waiting to read about it.

Posted by: moonpalmetto | February 5, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

You want to know why newspapers are suffering so badly? Because they continue to run wankers like Bill Kristol and David Broder. Both dumb as a sack of hammers and paid to spew utter BS. Why would anyone subscribe to have this kind of craptacularness delivered to their home???

Posted by: jhinderaker | February 5, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

As long as any economic stimulus is limited to tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts, especially for the well heeled, Republicans aren't particularly worried about deficits because these cuts will help the economy, or so we're told. But, mention government spending and they are reincarnated as righteously indignant deficit hawks, wringing their hands over the terrible burden we're placing on future generations.

Posted by: blpeyton | February 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Someone has asked about why everyone is so angry and not coming together and so forth. As long as there are people whose main job it is to find fault, there will be angry people. Jesus had words of wisdom for all of God's children. Unfortunately, we prefer to live in darkness.

In reality, Obama is a Republican poster child. Obama is the modern-day Lincoln in spades. However, Republicans have lost their way. They have bought into religious fundamentalism which adheres to a set of precisely defined rules. Did I forget to say thay they only forgive their own for mistakes? Did I also say that this group finds it very difficult to admit mistakes?

Open your eyes, smell the coffee, and do what is right. Folloiwng a prescription-drug abuser (Rush) who is making millions from the sheep who follow him is a losing proposition.

Posted by: EarlC | February 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Pro-growth tax cuts" = oxymoron. Bill Kristol = just plain moron

Posted by: dougharty | February 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

No sooner did the Times get rid of this smug, ill-informed neocon hack then the Post picks him up? Did the publisher lose a bet? Aren't newspapers on the skids enough without wasting money on this! After cheerleading into Iraq with his trademark smirk (see photo, see Bush) hasn't Kristol and his ilk done enough damage for one decade?

Posted by: mybandy | February 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey folks, let's take this one step at a time.
Let's put socialism into place first.
Then later, we can move to fascism and communism where the state stifles opposing viewpoints and dictates the media message.

Posted by: spottedowlfan | February 5, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Shall we assume that Kristol, having been
bumped (fired, skadoooed, cut off) from the

comes cheap, and is good ENOUGH for the
Washington Post? Or is it just that a jewish neocon, no matter how debased, is always welcome at the WAPO?

Posted by: whistling | February 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, what the He-l are you doing here and who let you out? God , where is Hitler when we need him.

Posted by: orionexpress | February 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The GOP showed that they didn’t have the foggiest notion how to respond to the economic disaster confronting them. Distracted by the wrong war in Iraq, the GOP made one grisly mistake after another. While distracted by Iraq, they left the economic back doors open at home. This gross negligence left the thugs and thieves free to make off with over thirteen trillion dollars in investments. Like idiotic kids throwing rocks at fire fighters, the GOP folks are now playing total obstructionists to those trying to repair the damages they left. When Obama told others that we will extend a hand if they would unclench their fists, he was talking to the wrong folks. He should have addressed his comment to the GOP. The Democrats came in ready and willing to lead; however, the GOP shows that they just want to be obstructionists. A turned around economy, under Democrats' leadership, would be the GOP's worse nightmare come true.
Let's work to reduce their numbers on Capitol Hill even more. Incidentally, the economy now represents the third war in which this country is engaged. Our own officials and CEO’s have done more harm to this country than our enemies ever thought of doing. With over thirteen trillion dollars gone from people’s investments and one trillion gone into the black hole that’s Iraq, the GOP is content to dabble in asinine absurdities, whereas untold millions of dollars have disappeared into Iraq with no accountability whatsoever. Here, the GOP is more than willing to hold the entire country hostage to their picayune squabbling as additional trillions are being drained off of Americans’ hard earned savings. Whatever they are squabbling about is peanuts compared to the savings that are being lost in the meantime. They, GOP, talk about the taxpayers money, they are showing that they couldn’t care less. What they care about most is profiling, photo ops and partisan politics. That’s all. Our own politicians are showing clearly that they are our worse enemies.

Posted by: vmonroe_valnesio | February 5, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

All the short-term stimulus in the world will just disappear into uselessness unless we begin fixing Healthcare, Education, SS and retirement.

After 8 years of tax cuts and leaders who were supposed to reel in spending, why are we still listening to anyone who was part of promoting what got us into this mess, like Kristol?

Posted by: pwprl | February 5, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol...Handmaiden of disaster.

Hey Bill...Who's gonna be at the top of the ticket? Palin or the "Plumber"?

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | February 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol? Really? Wasn't this guy completely wrong about Iraq? Wasn't he completely wrong when he supported the supply-side economics that got us to this point? How is his advice even valid? Why should I listen to someone who has demonstrated, repeatedly, that his is wrong? Poor choice WaPo.

Posted by: ImpeachCheney | February 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

As per my earler post I have no great admiration for Kristol's view's. HOWEVER, where is the moderator of this board when anti-semitic sleaze is smeared onto its site!

Posted by: mybandy | February 5, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Common-sense plan. Do the clearly job-generating stimulus quickly.

Separate legislation for broader policy debates on items that clearly would not have a near-term economic impact (other than further bloating the deficit).

Except that the Republicans, when trying to make the Bush tax cuts "permanent", have always insisted that for stimulus to be effective, it has to be long-term. This is why they are saying that a rebate is a waste of money. By conservatives' own arguments, what they are suggesting is to throw money down the drain.

Personally, I'm all for giving the Republicans a bill with ONLY their projects in it, on the condition that if things aren't better in six months they step down from all economic committees and renounce their right to filibuster economic bills in the Senate.

No takers? Huh...

Posted by: dj333 | February 5, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

And we should listen to what Bill Kristol has to say about anything because of what? His long track record of always being WRONG about everything?

Unfortunately, Mr. Kristol, some of us who are losing jobs (due to the economy, not to poor job performance, such as sloppy journalism) can't count on benefactors to bail us out of successive failures and promote us ever upwards. Doing something to stop the downward spiral of the economy matters to us, so we don't lose our homes and everything we've worked for our entire lives. Your tax cuts aren't going to do a thing for those of us who don't have jobs, and even shoring up unemployment benefits isn't going to help the small businessman (self-employed) whose business is failing/has failed thanks to the tanking economy - because he isn't eligible for unemployment.

Then again, we all know that your agenda has little to do with what's good for the serfs.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

So Bill's plan is to pass a bill with only non-controversial sections, and then put off everything else for a year or so after the Republicans have had a chance to delay as long as possible.

Bill, would you mind pointing out the non-controversial sections? I mean, some Republicans are insisting that there doesn't need to be a stimulus package at all, thus, the whole thing is controversial.

In any case, the Republicans are full of it. If you spend $800 billion on *anything*, it's going to have a huge stimulus effect.

Once again, you miss the point entirely. I'm starting to think you do it on purpose just to get attention.

Posted by: napalmgod | February 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's first face one fact: all you ever get from Kristol are Republican talking points and gibberish spin. After 30 years of upward redistribution of income disguised as economic policy, Kristol wants you to believe that more tax cuts will solve it all. He and his fellow failures have the public focusing on "pork" that amounts to 1/2 of 1 percent of the stimulus bill. They spent the last 8 years tripling pork earmarks, but now want you to believe they are the party of fiscal responsibility and rectitude. Their policies are what brought us to this economic Armageddon, so why in the world would we turn to them for solutions? Since the time of St Ronald the Deficit King, stagnant wages have sapped the middle class of reasonable growth, and people turned increasingly to property equity to keep themselves afloat. More working wives didn't alleviate the crises either. And everyone knew the housing bubble would burst--economists have been warning about it for a decade. But public policy stagnated as well, with Republican "the market will solve everything" nonsense the prevailing argument. If Kristol wants a public debate, let's have it. Why is rising worker productivity not rewarded with rising income? Why is returning payroll taxes to the poor socialism while bailing out banks sound financial policy? Why is the entry of women into the workforce applauded, and not increased public expenditure for Head Start and childcare programs which would help alleviate the financial burden of that care? Why have Republicans spent 30 years fighting infrastructure expenditures when policy analysts were in agreement over how that would increase efficient delivery of goods and services?
The republicans have no ideas beyond tax cuts and spinning every government program as a "he got a benefit, you didn't" war. They've proved massively incompetent while in power, and NOW they want you to think, despite overwhelming rejection in November, that they're best equipped to look out for your interests. Cast off the past , fellow citizens, and refuse to get drawn into the Republican muck & mire. The Republicans want the economy to continue to deteriorate, and the stimulus to fail; the party that questioned everyone's patriotism after 9/11 wants you to believe that only they are for America. How do they square that circle?

Posted by: bklyndan22 | February 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Lord. You're not warking over HERE now, are you? =^(

Posted by: mobedda | February 5, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Did someone actually write "Where is Hitler?"

Did someone actually lower him or herself to the absolute gutter of foulness to write that? And expect anyone to take his/her opinion seriously?

Are you kidding me?

Geez - debate the issues at hand and have some fun with it if you want, but come on.

That's just plain wrong.

Posted by: spottedowlfan | February 5, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Haven't the Republicans done enough damage already putting themselves and their party ahead of country...can you just step back, shut up and get out of the way while we try to repair the damage!

Posted by: jmh300 | February 5, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Very good points brought out in this article. It articulated the same thoughts I was having. You can either have a socialist package or an economic stimulus package ... combining them will do nothing to stimulate the economy now.

Posted by: playfair109 | February 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me why this man's ideas matter. He's been wrong on everything but he still gets published. I guess if you're connected then you can get published not matter how stupid you've been proven to be.

Posted by: Ali8 | February 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Pork" right now is pretty much in the eye of the beholder. Republicans rare up and rebel against spending in any form not devised by them, no matter how many jobs it might create for middle-class America. However, they never view as pork the beloved tax cuts for business and the wealthy in general. Same old, same old, no matter how they tinsel it up. Above all, they somehow feel entitled to put Republican fingerprints on anything that comes out of Congress. Someone must continue pointing out to them that lately they have had none of their hackneyed "mandates" or earned any of the "political capital" so loved by braggart Bush . . . far from it! According to the voice of the American public, it is tired of hearing what the Republicans want--and has wised up on the matter of trusting their judgment.

Posted by: TomCamfield | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope that the Pres. and a few of his 'advisers' read your comments Bill.
A simple and very workable idea....if stimulus is their real motive.
My just fear is that it not nor was it ever their entire motive or plan.
You know better than I that one of his closest advisers has been quoted as saying
"never waste a good crisis." They realize the best chance to pass such a left wing agenda is now...before the election weary public catches on. REMEMBER LBJ?????
It's too bad that average folks needed to become so cynical and distrustful of their own government but that is simply the way it has become.

Posted by: doctorsam | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

First Republicans better get it through there heads they lost the last 2 election big time. In no small part because they refused to cooperate with Dems and insisted on steam rolling and vilifying them at every turn. President Obama is trying to turn that type of destructive partisan politics off and work on constructive relationships. However dogmatic adherence to the rhetoric of small gov't when the economy is in bad need a stimulus will only get them run over in both houses.
P.S. If it weren't for the likes of Kristol we'd have alot more room to manuever with the debt but their slavish devotion to Pres. Bush has landed us in this mess. His words should be treated cordially but with that always kept in mind.

Posted by: kchses1 | February 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse


Smilin' Billy Kristol, a second-generation neo-con nitwit (son of the first-generation neo-con nitwit who founded the American Enterprise Institute) is still bleating unwanted advice as though someone/anyone would take the clown seriously.

Smilin' Billy Kristol is the lunatic who -- along with many other crackpot, discredited ideas -- wants to expand the U.S. Armed Forces into a new military service ("U.S. Space Forces") to "control space."

After actively beating the drum for war with Iraq since 1999 through his execrable Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Smilin' Billy -- a notorious chickenhawk -- produced a document in 2005 called "Iraq: Setting the record straight" which tried to explain how he and the rest of the PNAC cabal of crackpots could have got it all so wrong. As it says, "our report attempts to give readers a fuller account of what we knew before the war, and what we know now."

What Smilin' Billy doesn't say is that he knows as much now as he knew before: nothing (that makes sense).

Why does this clown get published?

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Republicans also pretended that they didn't like the first bail-out from the Bush administration. But then Bush added more pork to the bill, and then the repigs voted for it.
Can you say HYPOCRITE?

Posted by: strictly_liberal | February 5, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The republican party has lost a presidential election, and control of congress twice now (2004 & 2008). If they choose to standby and do nothing while the ship of state sinks, then that is very disingenuous. Everyone needs to get a bucket and start bailing. There is one ship, and we are all sailing together into the future.

Posted by: rmorris391 | February 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol;
After you were taken on as a columnist at the Times I cancelled my subscription which was no easy task and could not be accomplished immediately because my wife adors the culture and style sections but I did manage to get the subscription cancelled. The reason I felt so strongly is you were one of the principal public intellectuals that got us into the Iraq war and the de-regulation no enforcement frenzy that ruined the economy. You should be banished from civil society let alone solicited for your opinions and paid for same.

Posted by: jhadv | February 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol: How about if we just forget about all this STIMULUS nonsense and start a war with Iran like right now? Boy, will that really stimulate our economy as we open the floodgates for pouring in billions of dollars into the coffers of Halliburton, KBR and other defense contractors! Now that's a STIMULUS Mr. Kristol can accept quickly, I mean very quickly!

Posted by: erickaba | February 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Republican economics:

The answer is tax cuts for the rich.

What was the question?

Posted by: independentvoter7 | February 5, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The January 26, 2009, New York Times column by Smilin' Billy Kristol had the best ending ever:

"This is William Kristol’s last column."

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Congress is paid to deliberate, not rubber stamp proposals from the President. I agree, if there proposals that immediately stimulate the economy, they can be voted on in short order.

Where there are policy decisions to be made on heath care and energy, for instance, comprehensive bills must be not be rushed. The issues are just too important for the President to constantly badger Congress for a quick vote.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Posted by: NEWSOUTH1 | February 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Are we talking about a real crisis or are we talking about a kid getting an allowance? Mr. Kristol, you're dithering.
If there's a real crisis and it has to be addressed in a timely effective manner, then what is it that you don't understand? Timely or effective?
If we're talking about a kid getting an allowance, then I'm with you on that, William. Give the kid the money he needs for the bus now and then let's work out a plan for affording that playstation.

Posted by: KathyWi | February 5, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Why is this loser Kristol writing his second grade level "analysis" in the Post? I thought the Post was rid of this garbage? The bankrupt GOP gave George W Bush carte- blanche for six years and he proceeded to destroy this country with and illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq costing over a trillion dollars while at the same cutting taxes on the wealthiest, etc... where did that take us? over a cliff. The GOP is not part of the solution, they are the problem.

Posted by: castillomark | February 5, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

From Washington Monthly:

KRISTOL LEAVES THE TIMES.... At the end of an otherwise uninteresting New York Times column from Bill Kristol, there are six heartening words:

This is William Kristol's last column.

There's been some question as to whether Kristol's one-year contract with the paper of record would get an extension, and today, we get our answer: he's done. Whether the Times showed him the door or Kristol quit is unclear, but the result is the same.

It's hard to overstate what an embarrassment this was from the start. Not only was Kristol's writing pedestrian and predictable, but he had an unfortunate habit of making obvious factual mistakes, which necessitated frequent corrections. Indeed, at last count, Kristol prompted four corrections in one year -- though, if you want to get picky about it, one of the four included two separate factual errors in the same column, which would bring the total to five.

And that's just counting the demonstrable errors of fact. Errors of judgment were found in practically every piece.

Back in May, Glenn Greenwald had an item on the "sloppy, error-plagued and incomparably hackish columns" Kristol has produced. Regrettably, the next seven months worth of content was no better.

For reasons that have never made sense, the Times' publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., decided in late 2007 that it was time to add another Republican columnist to the paper's op-ed page, and the decision early on was to find a "lightning-rod conservative." But Kristol didn't spend the year generating electricity, he spent a year embarrassing the nation's most prestigious news outlet, wasting space on the most valuable media real estate in the country. His columns combined the three worst qualities a columnist can have: Kristol's work was wrong, predictable, and boring.

A Times staffer said last year, "Having a robust conservative voice on the page is a good idea. But you want quality." Instead, the paper wanted Kristol. That is, it used to want Kristol.

And so, the search is on for a new Times columnist. No matter who the paper chooses, he or she is bound to be an improvement.

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol said this:

"With this key sentence from his op-ed in the Washington Post today, President Obama has given Republicans a golden opportunity"

Instead of looking for "golden opportunities" to bash Obama, why not look for golden opportunities to fix this broken nation... or is your party not up to that? Are you only capable of destroying our economy?

The more you speak Mr. Kristol, the more you become part of the problem. Why do you hate this country so much that you put your partisan politics ahead of fixing the economy? You sir are a huge part of the problem!

Posted by: clintatl | February 5, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I view people like Bill Kristol and rest of the Republican party as nothing but scam artists and con men whose main objective is to fill the corporate coffers. They have nothing to offer the American party. Yet they abound in the corporate media and are highly paid for their service to the corporations.

Posted by: kevin1231 | February 5, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

!!! WaPo took on Bill Kristol?? man first the Times made the mistake now the Post??

Ugh. Yeah anyway, Thanks Bill, let's make this a partisan issue. Let's figure out how we can make this economic recovery a way for the republicans to benefit. You're a sick human being, people are struggling right now and you want to a) make obama fail by gimping a fully laid out plan by economists and then b) say that the failure of the stimulus is the democrats fault even though you removed important parts of the bill.

WaPo - I had more faith in you as a reputable journal.

Posted by: glitch83 | February 5, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol, who has been wrong about just about everything, sees an "opportunity" for the Neanderthal Party to revive it's failing brand by opposing everything Obama is proposing. That is freaking brilliant Bill! Yes, a trillion dollars wasted in Iraq, along with countless lives is just fine and dandy for the idiot Republicans but spending money to create jobs at home, well THAT needs to be condemned!

I am so thrilled that the Post has decided to give this bloated loser a place to air his totally misguided opinions. You would think that after watching everything the Republican Party touches turn to sh*t you folks would exorcise some judgement on who you would choose as the voice of dissent.

Posted by: marSF | February 5, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Kristol's vaunted intelligence fails to materialize again. The notion that short term stimulus is desperately needed goes unchallenged by any serious scholar of macroeconomics, and the notion that it should be part of a larger strategic vision for long term growth does as well. We need quick action that will also sustain growth. Thus the emphasis on infrastructure, for example. This isn't an "opportunity" of the GOP. It's an obvious fact to any nuanced thinker and has informed the president's approach all along.

Really. You paid Kristol for this? Can you get your money back?

Posted by: RuperttheBear | February 5, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse


Grow up, we don't have time for more of your high school politics. You and your buds in D.C. still don't get it. You may never get it.

Posted by: wesatch | February 5, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The rightwingers just can't seem to grasp the fact that they got fired....... not only fired, but drum beaten out of DC in large part for their insane economic policies..... their input in this matter is irrelevant and not welcome .... especially from avowed neocons such as Kristol....

Posted by: seakeys | February 5, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is a discredited and disgraced neocon Zionist . The NYT kicked him out . It is an insult to the WP readers to bring him back !?

Posted by: editor4tonio | February 5, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is a discredited and disgraced neocon Zionist . The NYT kicked him out . It is an insult to the WP readers to bring him back !?

Posted by: editor4tonio | February 5, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Reagan cut taxes. The National Debt tripled. And America went from being the world's leading creditor nation to being the world's leading debtor nation.

George W. Bush cut taxes. The National Debt doubled. Median household income went into decline. Poverty increased. Job creation stank. The markets tanked. The economy cratered.

Bill Clinton increased taxes (without a single Republican vote). Job creation soared. The markets soared. Median household income soared. Poverty decreased. Budgets were balanced, surpluses were produced.

Perhaps Smilin' Billy Kristol can explain.

But I won't be holding my breath.

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"dj333 wrote: Personally, I'm all for giving the Republicans a bill with ONLY their projects in it, on the condition that if things aren't better in six months they step down from all economic committees and renounce their right to filibuster economic bills in the Senate. [...] No takers? Huh..."

This would be great: it would give the Republicans a chance to prove their stuff, and if they didn't ... it would give them a chance to get out of the effing way and stop being part of the problem. I think dj333 is right, though: the Republicans would NEVER take the chance. If they were sincere AND confident in their ideas AND truly had the best interests of the USA at heart, they should leap at the chance to be the heroes (and take their lumps if they fail). I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: markinirvine | February 5, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"You paid Kristol for this? Can you get your money back?"


While the Washington Post is firing and retiring authentic journalists from the newsroom, Fred Hiatt continues to squander what's left of the Washington Post's money on Bush-era detritus like Kristol, Kagan, Shlaes, Gerson, Krauthammer and Will.

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Bill Kristol? Damn this paper has gone down hill."
,him and Obama in the same day. Misery loves company I guess.Can we have real leadership in the Oval Office now? I'm tired of Alfalfa's friend making a fool of himself writing Op-Eds for bird cage liners.

Posted by: jay666 | February 5, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama's playing Rope A Dope with the Repubs. At some point, the stimulus package will pass, with no Repub support, so they will get no credit for the tax
cuts that will be in it. Their opposition will be transparently political. Gee, guys, why can't you bring yourselves to support spending on your countrymen, when you're happy to throw truckloads of cash and no-bid contracts at Iraq reconstruction? What is it about the U.S.
that you find so unworthy? Rush wants Obama to fail, even though it means the U.S. failing. That tells us how important their "ideas" are - they're too big to fail!

Posted by: obamasnoosama | February 5, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

If you think that the stimulus package will actually have a positive impact on the economy you...

1.Haven't read the bill
2.You have little to no knowledge of the economy
3.Your the Speaker of the House
4.Your the Majority leader
5.Your the President
6.You think FDR's New Deal didn't prolong the depression

Heres some things to consider about the package...

The orginial proposal contained 152 seperate appropriations, only 34 line items had job saving estimates, 117 appropriations have no job saving estimates at all

Between this bill and bush's bailout trainwreck...the fed will be creating jobs at approx. 412,000 per job...In 2007 the private sector created jobs at 50,283 per job

Despite 550B in spending...0 appropriations for troops in the field

(Numbers courtsey of Mark Kirk)

This bill is nothing but a pork barrel spending binge created by the majority party in Washington...

Open up a history book...mass spending and taxing does not work...We need tax cuts across the board to free up small business and allow for the creation for jobs

Posted by: ReaganwasRight7 | February 5, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

For Republicans, all problems can be solved with one of following three "solutions."

1. Cut Taxes

2. Detest/Suppress Minorities

3. Blow Things/Countries Up

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, D.C., you got our sloppy seconds.
New York

Posted by: Ezn73 | February 5, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes Republicans playing more political games while the country is burning. That will make the people reelect them.

Give me a freakin break Kristol. Republicans lost. Obama has extended the olive branch as far as it will reach, but you eternally wrong conservatives still think you have a mandate from heaven to run the country.

Posted by: TonyQ82 | February 5, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Given that Kristol and the Republicans have been ... ohhhh ... wrong about everyting about the econonmy, foreign policy, defense and domestic policy for over a decade, why should anyone listen to them at all?

Posted by: jimcummings | February 5, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Read somewhere lately the reason kristol shows up at the Post...

a long list of neocons like Wolfowitz and Perle and Wurmser and Feith, all the 'boys'...

they'd be fired or let several cases from cabinet agencies...after giving
classified stuff to Israel, doing something strictly against official policy, etc...

and always appeared again, almost immediately and continued their long long plan again. It was a circular horror. But the zionist gallop to take over the world...see such things as Georgia (where there were israeli arms and 'advisors' all over the place..continued apace.

Wolfowitz, in fact, last i heard, was at
DOS working on something regarding he still there?
So seeing Kristol, ever at it again, is not a big surprise. No place for him in
the WH, one supposes.

Posted by: whistling | February 5, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

A reminder for 'ReaganwasRight7':

1. Reagan TRIPLED the National Debt.

2. Reagan took America from being the world's leading creditor nation to being the world's leading debtor nation.

3. Reagan granted amnesty to three million "illegals."

And you think Reagan was "right"?

Posted by: pali2500 | February 5, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"If you think that the stimulus package will actually have a positive impact on the economy you...

1.Haven't read the bill
2.You have little to no knowledge of the economy
3.Your the Speaker of the House
4.Your the Majority leader
5.Your the President
6.You think FDR's New Deal didn't prolong the depression"

You know, you just might have more credibility if you used proper grammar.

Posted by: jimcummings | February 5, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe you gave this guy a job. How many times and in how many ways does an insider have to fail before the MSM decides that he really isn't worth paying to bloviate? It's kind of sad that the WAPO feels that-- to remain in the good books of the rightwingers- that it has to pick up the discardings of the NYTimes.

You really have to look a bit further for columnists. It's getting embarrassing how hard you're trying to keep Rush from saying anything bad about you.

Posted by: lister1 | February 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is like cancer. You apply chemo, think you get rid of it, but it keeps popping up. Time to get rid of this intellectual cancer for good.

Posted by: Garak | February 5, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Ezn73: Careful; that's the kind of talk that got Sean Avery suspended.

ReaganwasRight7: Take the last sixty years and graph indicators of economic health against 1) the political party in the White House and 2) tax rates.

Basically, the Laffer Curve is not a regular parabola. If that doesn't mean anything to you, well, then you're stupid for spouting off about lowering taxes.

Posted by: RuperttheBear | February 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I love hearing the Republicans hitting the Dems on "bad policy". The last eight years was what, "good policy"?? No, it led us into this ditch we're sitting in. Investing money in education isn't "bad policy". When our children try to go to college in 18 years, that so-called "bad policy" may not look like pork anymore. Full speed ahead on the stimulus. Get it done.

Posted by: eddiemoney13 | February 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

This is the worst idea ever. After having read your work in the Times, I know that you are a miserable person, and here at the Post you have found an editorial page where you fit in with the rest of the totally wrong people (wrong about Iraq; wrong about unimpeded capitalism; wrong about our country being "center-right"; why do you all still get paid to spout hot air?).

The tax cuts are the worst part of this package: I don't need a tax cut, and neither do you. What we both need is for our now-unemployed fellow citizens to have jobs, and that comes from the spending aspects of the bill.

Please have some respect for our country and take a long walk off a short pier.

Posted by: prague_one | February 5, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Did this moron get run off from the NYTimes because his posts were short on facts? I didn't read him there, why would I bother here? WaPo, you don't need retreads like Kristol.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions | February 5, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

When was Kristol every right?

So far as I can tell - never.

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 5, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Kristol just continues to turn up, spewing his nonsense to those who know he lacks credibility. It must be that after being let go from the NYT, he was picked up by WAPO for a song. Kristol reminds me of Johnny One-Note, in that he sounds only one theme -- the failed, discredited Neocon blather.

Posted by: Diogenes | February 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"They can make clear that Republicans will support a real short-term stimulus (pro-growth tax cuts, housing measures and a few targeted spending provisions unemployment and COBRA extensions)"

Except that they won't. Their spokesman - rush limbaugh - has made it quite clear: They want Obama to fail at any cost. Any concession by the obama team will be graciously ignored, and the goalposts moved. The republicans have no intention of letting a democrat sponsored stimulus package pass, because, god forbid, it might work. They limbaugh lead GOP would rather see this nation decline into depression and suffer terrorist attacks that be successful under a democrat administration.

Posted by: zencycle | February 5, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. K offers a common sense approach, but unfortunately common sense is not in style today.

Posted by: johnson0572 | February 5, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

More fantasy from the man who gave us "Why Bush Will be a Winner" ( He'd be praising his own writing through his sock puppet iAmSmarterThanYou, but he probably can't remember the password.

Can't WaPo find someone to present a devil's advocate view who isn't still soiled from drooling over W?

As another Garak would have said, "Well, some people should never be promoted."

Posted by: multiplepov | February 5, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What the devil...? Kristol has been wrong about every single thing, yet he gets hired _again_ to pull the same crap? Failed partisans like him don't deserve courtesy for helping drag us into economic and international disaster--they deserve a boot out the door. Way to go, WaPo--may you go under even faster because of this move.

Posted by: c_deering | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Wilma Kristol is a draft-dodging little girl, one who should be deported to North Korea. No one hates America more than Wilma.

Recent intel "background chatter" indicate that bin-Laden has stated multiple times that Kristol is "the best bottom I've ever had, even better than Georgette Bush."

Posted by: Nurse_Tabby | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I was thrilled to learn Neo-Con war monger Kristol had left the NYTimes. Now I have to see his garbage in the Post. Good God! Why don't they just publish Ann Coulter?

Posted by: julianbfreund | February 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Kristol has told Republicans to oppose any stimulus bill to make it easier to oppose any future health care bill. What kind of monster has The Washington Post chosen to promote in its Editorial page? Would WaPo prefer to have an America that is like 1917 Russia? Do you want the Kristol's to head Pogroms to beat and drive away anyone who is not a neo-conservative country club member? Kristol has joyously supported everything that has brought this country to its current crisis: Iraq; corporate tax cuts; weakening of unions, education, and health care for millions of Americans. I am completely disappointed in The Washington Post and how insensitive and right-wing it has become. What a pity!

Posted by: | February 5, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Do you know how to tell when you are wrong about something? Just agree with Bill Kristol on anything.

Posted by: cubbyblue7 | February 5, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Eight years of listening to the idiocy of people like Bill Kristol has gotten us into this collosal mess we're in.

Like the Washington Post editorial board, Kristol has proven himself time and time again to be utterly bereft of common sense or good ideas.

Kristol = FAIL

So glad I don't pay for this newspaper and I look forward to it going bankrupt.

Posted by: Christian_in_NYC | February 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

William Kristol is a lying, duplicitous POS. Why do you give voice to this neocon nonsense? Congrats on downgrading your paper!

Posted by: kristolisweak | February 5, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how the Republicans define pork if they say that this bill is loaded with it. Nowhere is there any mention of particular projects such as bridges to nowhere, traffic cloverleaves near otherwise useless property owned by legislators, etc. The bill lists areas that need our attention such as the electrical transmission network, education, health care, transportation, renewable energy...

For someone to blather about immediate stimulus versus long term stimulus is phony. If you don't include the long term parts where the foundations for future jobs are created, then you put yourself in the situation where you have to continually support jobs. Even a Republican should be able to see that that is unsustainable.

What Kristol and the other repubs want to do is stick to their ideology even when it is obvious that it will destroy America. It was Gingrich that led the fight against Ms. Clinton's health care because he realized that actually helping Americans would result in the repubs losing power. The same ethos is working here. Let the country fail if it means that the repubs don't have control. Then when they get control, will it be worth it to own what's left?

Posted by: dkmjr | February 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

i can chew gum and walk at the same time, how about you, Bill?

Posted by: gw49 | February 5, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I am tremendously disappointed to see another old guard right-winger on the WaPo payroll. Please, I understand that you want balance in this publication, but it is time to start looking for the next generation of conservatives, not sad sack failures like Kristol.

Posted by: gposner | February 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is so like that other WAPO columnist, Charles Krauthammer. Not only their pro Israel neocon stuff, but in another STRANGE way:

every time either writes a column, it'followed by posters who detest them.
Betrween angry and derisive, and mocking.

So, who are their followers? Are they only posted to 1)get the neocon stuff pushed out in our faces, no matter how objectionable-- or 2)garnder an audience any way possible...even one that disagrees and dislikes them?
ISN'T it strange.

Posted by: whistling | February 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Gimme a break. Gerson? Kristol? Why are these buffoons at the Post instead of the unemployment office? They were cheerleaders for the policies & people that created our current problems & misery. Now the Post pays them to talk about solutions to the problems they helped create. They are like arsonists who get paid to give advice about preventing fires. What a scam. They sure cheapen a once quality paper. Geez.

Posted by: 1observer | February 5, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Bill, come to the rust belt for a week. Work at a food bank, or even at a church offering free lunches for anyone who comes. You won't be disappointed to only find the welfare recipients there. You will find people who are the working poor, one week after getting a pink slip, worried about losing where they live, worrying how they will feed their children.

Wake up Bill, this is not just about the aristocracy of this country. The white, bloated, "fear and smear" Republicans have a chance, a real chance, to do the right thing. If you keep on this path, you will keep losing.

America looks more like a melting pot, and the poor whites, poor Hispanics and poor Blacks are going to choose hope.

Posted by: dianainohio | February 5, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Kristol's detractors are correct, shoveling money at Obama's supporters (who produce nothing other than rhetoric and lawsuits, by the way), will stimulate the economy.

Let's just sue, talk and protest ourselves back into prosperity. Can't understand how a plan like that could fail.

Posted by: NoDonkey | February 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

jim cummings, you would have a modicum of credibility, if you, and everyone else who is trashing the republican opposition, could back up your position with facts.

Rupert it is hard to argue against the benefits of cutting taxes. I acknowledge that it is not a cure-all soultion, but can you point to an instance were we have spent our way out of a recession.

If you cannot acknowledge the fact that Reagan was the best president of the last fifty years...I guess I feel sorry for you.

Lastly, I cannot understand the vitriol towards Bill Kristol. He is a partisan without question, but isn't that the point of this blog? Attack his article for factual inaccuracy or poor policy. Attacking the author personally yields very little in the way of constructive discussion.

Posted by: ReaganwasRight7 | February 5, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The only way "tax cuts" are "irrelevant" to "average americans" is if they don't pay any taxes to begin with.
The "rest of us" that get hit on every paycheck, would definitely enjoy an extra 5% in the bank.


But Kristol, your boys don't like stimulus. They like tax breaks, which don't stimulate and which are largely irrelevant to average americans right now.

Posted by: sophie2 | February 5, 2009 10:19 AM

Posted by: STG11 | February 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse


I'm at work and just wanted to send you some love after reading all this left wing hate sent your way.

I think your terrific and never miss and opportunity to see you on TV or read your work. Thanks, you are a great American

Posted by: carkrueger | February 5, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful, more GOP strategery from Dan Quayle's speechwriter. Never mind what's beneficial for the economy, let's focus on how the Republicans can throw a wrench into the gears to make their opponents fail. Then they can pretend to have been "right all along."

The New York Times has purged itself with a huge bowel movement and it landed on DC.

Posted by: brian_gtr | February 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Kristol says: "They can make clear that Republicans will support a real short-term stimulus (pro-growth tax cuts, housing measures and a few targeted spending provisions unemployment and COBRA extensions)..."

1. pro-growth tax cuts = "More tax breaks for the rich."
2. housing measures = "More breaks for the mortgage banks"
3. a few targeted spending provisions unemployment = "VERY FEW"
4. COBRA extensions = "We won't spend a dime becuase unemployed can't afford the cost of COBRA anyway.

Posted by: davidelder | February 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Your article's title was Republican Opportunity. The Republicans already had one opportunity to wreck our economy; why give them another one?

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | February 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is what happens when you let the kids sit at the adult table. They start throwing food.

The bottom line is that they've already cut everything that they can justifiably cut. The CBO already estimated that more than 75% of the money would be spent in less than 2 years and it looks like the Senate bill will work even more quickly.

The GOP is doing a lot complaining, but when it comes down to specifics they don't have any.

Olympia Snowe tried to propose cutting $50-$200 Billion and she came up with about $2 Billion in specific programs. Even the things she proposed cutting were idiotic. Mainly she wanted to cut money for research. $1 Billion to the National Science Foundation and $400 Million in climate research. She is idiotic if she thinks that spending on research doesn't create jobs.

Posted by: zosima | February 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are not willing to compromise. They have shown that.

Obama should just pass this one over their heads and continue on to the next legislation. And he should keep on doing that until some moderate Republicans realize that he means business and are willing to come to the table. Then, he should incorporate the ideas and personnel of those Republican groups whose objective is to move this country forward.

There's no need to be adversarial, keep on an open hand out to them. But you've got to set your bounds early

Posted by: ahg26 | February 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Great idea. Let's have more short-sighted Republican rule. It worked so well for the past eight years. Are you guys even capable of seeing a big picture? No? Well, I know you understand this: We won.

Posted by: debbieqd | February 5, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Could we please get a fiscal reformer in the White House? I say Mark Sanford.

Posted by: Atlas573 | February 5, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Jeffrey Miron
Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Economics, Harvard University

"Any stimulus package should consist of permanent tax cuts rather than spending increases. The (limited) available evidence suggests that tax cuts are at least as effective as spending increases in stimulating the economy. Tax cuts help reduce the adverse incentives caused by high tax rates. And spending increases are likely to include numerous projects that do not pass normal cost-benefit criteria and are instead merely pork (e.g., repairing bridges to nowhere)"

John Seater
Professor of Economics
Economics Dept., NC State Univ.

"I worked 7 years as a Federal Reserve staff economist and have done research in and taught macroeconomics for 27 more years. There is no convincing evidence that stimulative fiscal policy is either feasible or effective...The recognition and action lags (ancient terms from the bygone Keynesian era) alone virtually always mean that the stimulus arrives after the recession is over, thus causing an undesirable distortion that impedes recovery…I am strongly skeptical of President-elect Obama’s plans. Both theory and evidence are against them. What else do we require to reject them?"

Richard Wagner
Professor of Economics, George Mason University

"Any so-called stimulus program is a ruse. The government can increase its spending only by reducing private spending equivalently. Whether government finances its added spending by increasing taxes, by borrowing, or by inflating the currency, the added spending will be offset by reduced private spending. Furthermore, private spending is generally more efficient than the government spending that would replace it because people act more carefully when they spend their own money than when they spend other people's money.”

Greg Mankiw
Professor of Economics
Harvard University

"In this environment, I would prefer to rely on monetary policy as the main source of macroeconomic stimulus. If there were a stronger case for a short-run demand-oriented fiscal stimulus, I would view the compromise package announced today as reasonable. But given where the economy is right now and the best forecasts of where it is heading, the fiscal package seems unnecessary as a short-run measure, while in the long run adding to the debt burden without doing anything to improve incentives for economic growth."

What could these guys possibly know?

Posted by: ReaganwasRight7 | February 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: gwv629 | February 5, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

This is the way the whole process should have been done in the first place, i.e. Short and Long term packages, the first being an emergency, and the second being more well thought out.

I think the bill was rushed forward in its current form so that the Dems in the congress can get their Pork in there. Obama is willing to let that slide to get the money he wants for all of his pet projects too.

Posted by: DCDave11 | February 5, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there sure are a lot of angry comments on here. Anyway, it's quite easy to come up with substantial cuts to the stimulus:

$2B for the "clean coal" plant in Illinois (that the DOE considered inefficient and defunded last year)

$246M for Hollywood film tax break

$650M for digital TV converters

$6B to "greenize" federal buildings

$650M for US Forest Service wildfire management (seems like a lot!)

$1.2B for "youth activities"

$87.7B for state Medicaid bailouts (these would be fine with me if they were loans instead)

$47.8B for renewable energy development and environmental cleanup (hardly seems appropriate in an emergency stimulus bill)

That's $146B removed without breaking a sweat. I'm sure that with more thought, more items could be removed that really don't belong.

Furthermore, the CBO analysis of the bill indicates that nearly $300B of the spending will not occur until after September 30, 2010. That's really too slow to be emergency stimulus. I think the Dems would have a much easier time convincing Republicans to vote for the bill if they could show that the spending has been designed to pay out quickly on things that are really needed. Unfortunately, large chunks of the bill aren't like that.

Posted by: boyydz | February 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that Mr. Kristol has been trained at elite institutions. He is smart and can marshal a good argument. The problem is that he is a paranoid person who expresses his ideas in a manner that is truly off putting. I am sure the washington post can invite a conservative righter with a better personality so that (s)he can inspire people to debate the merit of the ideas rather than force us to manage the disturbing feelings reading Mr. Kristol inspires. The disturbance I feel is not over the merit of his ideas but in the dark paranoid undertones of the way he constructs his arguments. Can you please consider finding a replacement for him? A loyal reader...

Posted by: karimd1 | February 5, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

GWV629: The Dems want Repub support because they lack confidence that their bill will do as advertised. They don't want to be the ones left holding the bag.

Posted by: CityJim | February 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Kristol didn't get the memo about the changes coming to Washington. Politicans and pundits that only know partisan politics should be weeded out.

We are in a real mess today and this isn't about republicans grabbing an advantage or democrats grabbing one. It's about everyone attempting to fix the problem and and forgetting about advantage.

Posted by: blund | February 5, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

When $$$ get spent on tax cuts, the money just gets thrown under a mattress or sits around collecting dust in a bank vault.

When you spend $$$ building roads, the company that builds that roads gives the money to their employees and to companies that build steamrollers and make asphalt. Those company employee even more people and they spend the money the get on steel and transportation. Then that money goes towards building boats and railroads and trains... money going towards spending turbocharges our economy's supply chain.

Its not rocket science as to why economists prefer spending to tax cuts, they just don't always explain it very well.

Posted by: zosima | February 5, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Kristol's credibility has been depleted for years. Just read his old articles and see how stupid they look now.

This is coming from a guy who thinks Palin should be the President of the USA and from someone who thought McCain "suspending" his campaign was the brilliant move that was going to propel him to the WH. It is laughable the WP even game him a job.

Posted by: mecca789 | February 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This board is virtually nothing but "profanity [and] personal attacks." As a result, it's unreadable. WP, clean this mess up.

Posted by: bobinlaos | February 5, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

After 8 years of cheering for Bush, Kristol
is promoting a civil war to derail Obama's attempts to fix the Bush disaster. No doubt, Kristol is the nation's 'domestic' enemy. How does he get employment from the Post is beyond anyone's imagination.

Posted by: MAGUS111 | February 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I would really like for all the angry lefties commenting here to clarify one thing for me: what WOULD be the appropriate results of a stimulus package? It seems that there is a lot of noise about the GOP only caring about the rich, and hating the middle class and the poor. To what standard of living must the poor be raised in order for it to be acceptable? No one argues that we should not help unemployable people who have to eat out of trash cans on the street - and thankfully few people are in those circumstances (although even one is too many). Very few of the poor are in straits those poor. In America, the poor own cars and enjoy housing that is warm in the winter and has indoor plumbing. Most all own TVs and other electronics. I'm not saying that they shouldn't have these things, but in vast areas of the world, the poor would consider these things luxuries! Granted, there is a tremendous concentration of wealth in the rich in the US, but except for the very rich - who may be trust fund babies - most upper middle class Americans have worked hard for their money and taken advantage of opportunities. With numerous colleges now offering free tuition to lower income families' kids, it seems opportunity is more abundant than ever. So, what is the floor? And who pays for it? And why them? And what will the effects on all of us be?

Posted by: boyydz | February 5, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, just sacked by the New York Times, is now dispensing his idiotic, wrong-headed tripe for the long-suffering readers of the Washington Post. He has nothing, NOTHING to say that is worth my time. If you HAVE to employ yet more neocon writers (cf: Krauthammer), for God's sake find ones who weren't dropped on their heads when they were infants.

Posted by: TruthTeller41 | February 5, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

This board is virtually nothing but "profanity [and] personal attacks." As a result, it's unreadable. WP, clean this mess up.

Posted by: bobinlaos | February 5, 2009 5:10 PM
WP can start by cleaning up the five paragraphs of blather that preceded the responses.

Posted by: multiplepov | February 5, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol, do you have no decency?
In this economically difficult time, you just want to see if you can score any political points while the American peoples are waiting and longing for any help from the current administration. Is this all the Republicians are all about? Use the livelihoods of the Americian people as prawns? That is the reason why the Republication party are so despised by the general public.

Posted by: kcleung8947 | February 5, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Look who is back form the dead:

Chief Neocon strategist who led our country into disaster, now giving ADVICE!!!

Oh my God! this is hilarious!? Thank you Mr. Kristol for thinking us fools! We are a population made up of half-wits and no-wits, and we have already forgot that you and your cronies raped our government for 8 years. We love you and look forward to more prophetic advice form you

Posted by: peaceful2008 | February 5, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol's record is pristine, perfect, unblemished. He has never been right.

This is not meant as a personal attack, but he is essentially a draft dodging dilitant.

By all means, let's hope the GOP continues to listen to the likes of Kristol, Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly. For any liberal, progressive or person with a brain, that is the best of all worlds. The GOP will continue to founder based on the advise of people who are not only wrong, but spectacularly wrong virutally all the time.

Posted by: SaintGenesius | February 5, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

For anyone wondering what I think the stimulus package must be etc. I have to say that for me and my country any kind of stimulus package will work as long as it is not polluted by any input from the greedy, selfish and criminal Republican party!

Note to Republicans in congress and media: close your mouths, listen, learn and say yes sir when your president sends you a bill that is supposed to help us get out of the mess that YOU got us into!

I don't need advice on how to put out a fire from an arsen!

Posted by: peaceful2008 | February 5, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

ReaganwasRight7: First, good job with the screen scraping!

Second, the substantive points in the quotations you list can be refuted. Tax cuts won't do what the proponents claim and there is evidence to prove the Laffer curve is asymmetrical.

Third, the plan doesn't go far enough, fast enough, but it isn't as slow as the GOP talking points claim. Check the actual CBO analysis, not the non-existent one the GOP kept citing (and citing). But something is better than harmful things or nothing.

And, trump card, Paul "I saw this coming and I have Nobel Prize" Krugman, professor of economics at Princeton agrees:

"Mr. Obama’s prescription doesn’t live up to his diagnosis. The economic plan he’s offering isn’t as strong as his language about the economic threat. In fact, it falls well short of what’s needed....

"To close a gap of more than $2 trillion — possibly a lot more, if the budget office projections turn out to be too optimistic — Mr. Obama offers a $775 billion plan. And that’s not enough....

"But only about 60 percent of the Obama plan consists of public spending. The rest consists of tax cuts — and many economists are skeptical about how much these tax cuts, especially the tax breaks for business, will actually do to boost spending. (A number of Senate Democrats apparently share these doubts.) Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center summed it up in the title of a recent blog posting: 'lots of buck, not much bang.'

"The bottom line is that the Obama plan is unlikely to close more than half of the looming output gap, and could easily end up doing less than a third of the job....

"Whatever the explanation, the Obama plan just doesn’t look adequate to the economy’s need. To be sure, a third of a loaf is better than none. But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan."

Did you see what he did there? He criticized it for not doing enough. But given the obstructionist foolishness from the ideologues who got us into this mess, what do you think the political reality is? Something that looks like the current plan? Yah THINK?

And I'm done.

PS For all you blue-stockings who want these comments to be more civilized, take a long hard listen or look at the vitriol that spills from right of center media in this country. Pay back is no fun, but the conservatives better get out of the kitchen, since I anticipate it will quite hot for a few years. No one likes a WATB, which is what most GOP hardliners are at heart.

Posted by: RuperttheBear | February 5, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I will wait until the Washington Post publishes corrections for Mr. Kristol's usual misstatement of facts before reading this article.

Posted by: 44pol | February 5, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Who's the Bushington Post going to hire next - Joe the Plumber?

I'm not reading Kristol's garbage.

And I will NEVER subscribe to the Bushington Post as long as it employs this insane liar.

Posted by: solsticebelle | February 5, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Obama and the Democrats, the stimulus bill has revived the Republican party. It might not do much for the economy, but 2012 is looking better for the Red Team every day.

Posted by: kenpasadena | February 5, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, like all the other self-ceneterd NEOCONS, has done more damage to the nation than Bin-Laden could ever have imagined... Kristol and the Republicans are more interested in maintaining control for their own gain than doing what is right for the nation... Kristol is a traitor...

Posted by: gmoore40 | February 5, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't usually agree with Kristol, but his argument has some merit. That said, most Republicans find it inherently anathema to vote for major Federal expenditures for public infrastructure, be it short term or long.They think the magic hand will take care of all that.

Posted by: steveandjanereed1 | February 5, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Hi boyydz,

Just wanted to help you out a little. I'm not angry, though.

Here's the thing. People of limited means ("poor", as you call it), though they may have electronics, do not generally save money, or save a significant proportion of their regular income. This is called "living paycheck to paycheck", and it's what most people do in this country, dual incomes or not.

Savings (or the desire to save) starts when a person has achieved a level of comfort such that they don't need to spend more money to live at the standard to which they are accustomed. Put another way, there comes a point when spending an additional $100 a week (for example) doesn't produce an appreciable increase in lifestyle satisfaction.

Now, if you make $12,000 a year, and extra $100 a week is going to make a big impact on your quality of life, and you'll have the natural tendency to spend it... you'll spend it on better quality food, or you'll replace your shoes before they totally fall apart, or you'll buy new clothes instead of repeatedly patching the old ones.

If you make $120,000 a year, that extra $100 a week isn't going to change much of your choices or buying habits, and you're less likely to spend it. You're more likely to hang onto it, invest it, or maybe make a little interest on it. You don't need new shoes. Your clothes are in good shape, and you eat pretty well.

Still with me? ... Good.

By spending a lot of money on projects where a lot of low-skilled or unskilled workers are required, or even where the worker might make a yearly income of $50,000 a year, that money is going to get spent by them and will enter the economy. The dry cleaners will get it, the quick-lube joint will get it, the barber will get it, the grocer will get it. So, it starts with the things that are outlined in the stimulus package, but that money moves out as soon as people get paid. That's the stimulus part.

The goal of lifting people out of poverty is a harder nut to crack, in general. However, if people have been pushed into poverty by current conditions, jobs and spending should increase the likelihood that they'll find work, maybe different work, maybe better paying work. The idea isn't to establish some kind of "floor". Rather, it's to create economic conditions that make it abundantly easier to take care of oneself (with a job, decent food, shelter, clothing and transportation) such that only a very few fall into actual poverty.

Hope it helps.

Posted by: ninjagin | February 5, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at how blind people are. All these people want proof the bill is full of pork...well you don't have to look far! There are parts of the bill that have no financial aspects whatsoever...what is stimulating about protecting whistle-blowers? Other parts are just down-right ridiculous, like forcing TSA to purchase 100,000 employee uniforms from American textile companies. Now that just has success written all over it. And the list goes on.

Bill Kristol is right, dems are not out to get an emergency stimulus bill passed...they're out to force feed us as much pork as possible. It's disgraceful, and so far republicans have held the line. That way, when this thing turns out to be the disaster it is destined to be, all the fingers will be rightfully pointed straight at the dems.

~T the D

Posted by: Trish1981 | February 5, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Right on target!!!

Posted by: matedavies | February 5, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

While one can certainly disagree with Kristol's comments, I find the vitriolic nature of the opposition's comments to be truly shocking. This is so typical of the left - the raging anger and hatred towards anything conservative / Republican. Nothing could be more revealing.

I have seen countless examples of the left's tactic of demonizing the opposition over the years - especially towards W - so yeah, it's not unexpected - but it never fails to overwhelm given the nasty hateful tone.

Leftists everywhere, I ask you: how often to you see this type of nastiness directed towards yourselves by Republicans or conservatives in blogs, comment sections, or by nationally syndicated columnists? Show me an example of mainstream, conservative leaning columnist who is as condescending and insulting to the left as say, for example, Maureen Dowd was / has been to conservatives and W? (Ann Coulter doesn't count, nor do talk show hosts.) Hansen, Kristol, Prager, Limbaugh (David), Jacoby, Saunders, Will, Goldberg? - sorry, none of them fit the description - and you know that's true.

I cannot predict how this version of the stimulus bill will eventually work out, but I can safely predict with 100% certainty that anger and hatred on the left will continue, and eventually people will not want to associate with people, parties, or ideas like that.

Posted by: lushride | February 5, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

With friends and advocates like William Kristol, the Republican Party does not need enemies. Still, with the likes of Gerson and Kristol regularly Krauthammering nails into the GOP coffin in these pages, it won't be long before the party of Lincoln becomes known as the party of losers.

Keep up the good work, Bill. The rest of the country is counting on you and your chubby buddies giving the GOP the burial it so richly deserves.

Posted by: H5N1 | February 5, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

WOW!! Kristol has been dug out of the New York Times trash heap (from which he had been rescued from TIME magazine's trash dump) to spout the same tired (and fact-challenged) Republican talking points that brought on this economic catastrophe in the first place. Even better, neocon war supporter Kristol joins neocon war supporter Robert Kagan, neocon war supporter Charles Krauthammer, neocon war supporter Fred Hiatt and neocon war supporter Jim Hoagland as a regular columnist on the Post's Op-Ed page (along with war supporters David Ignatius and Richard Cohen), so it's not as though one could accuse The Post — one of the leading arms of "The Liberal Media" — of lacking "diversity" of opinion.

TIME magazine fired him, the New York Times fired him, but the Washington Post plucked Kristol out of a journalistic trash dump and wiped off the stench of Kristol being wrong on just about every issue about which he wrote in the last eight years (not to mention that he was extraordinarily "fact-challenged" during his stint at the New York Times, but the Washington Post's editorial page has never been big on facts anyway.)

So...yesterday (Wednesday) we were treated to the news that Joe the Plumber is now a Republican strategist. Today we have Kristol spouting off in the Washington Post. Merit had absolutely NO place in either of these events, thought nepotism, apparently, was not a factor in the Washington Post's decision to hire Kristol. Is this a great country, or what?

Posted by: annemwelsh | February 5, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

lushride: All the time. As in "all the time." From Sarah Panin's notion that only her supporters are "real" Americans, to whats-her-face's suggestion that the Obama's did a "terrorist fist jab," to half the comments on, ABC's website, etc.

The rhetoric of the right in American is predicated on fear and accusation. And the thin-skin you're exhibiting is either willful blindness or a pose.

Posted by: RuperttheBear | February 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Billy Kristol?!? NYT sloppy seconds!??!
Cancel my subscription!
OH, wait I don't have one.
Well, put me down as never staying at another Haitt!

Posted by: pablo1 | February 5, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

William Kristol is an idiot. That is all you need to know.

Posted by: drsteevo | February 5, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I think Bill Kristol cares for the republican party. the problem is that the republican party doesn't care for the country. McCain's "Country First" was a perfect political slogan (in a 1984 sort of way) for a terminally cynical party. What the republicans mean is "me first".

Posted by: michael5 | February 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

How does this guy continue to get work? He must be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most wrong judgements in a row.

Posted by: ejs2 | February 5, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Kritol makes a good point. This bill is becoming schizophrenic. What is the goal, really? Is it economic recovery, social improvement, ground work for the administrations future plans, or other? At one point the bill ballooned to $900 billion dollars. If this doesn't frighten the pants off you then you're not listening. Yes sure economic stimulus, but $75 million to dissaude people from smoking, $100 million for new computers in the Agricultural this really necessary?

Those who dismiss Kristol simply because of his political ideology are guilty of the same close minded ignorance they claim to be above.

Posted by: andrewa12h8 | February 5, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Missing the point. The economy is sick. An injection of about 800 Billion dollars is the prescription. The question is where do we spend it, choosing the injection sites. This whole talk of wasteful spending/pork is missing the point. For once pork is what is called for. Reps needs to take federal dollars back to there districts and spend those dollars on project that will create jobs. Doing jobs that will help us grow after the economy recovers is even better, but spending and circulating the money is what is needed right now. The only way to target where the money goes to is to spend the money via projects. Tax cuts does not garranty when or where the money is spent (my last tax cut when to by a visio, we need new school equipment, I don't need another visio). Projects pols, for once you have our permission to bring home some pork....

Posted by: altimage | February 5, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

There are many people being laid off. The loss of each job snowballs to the loss of 4 more. The way it works is this: if a person has a paycheck, it is used to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, get a haircut, buy a car or pay the mechanic, etc. In turn, the next people can pay their bills. The money flowing through the economy snowballs to 5 total jobs. Adding a job can create 4 more and losing a job can lead to the loss of 4 more as the reduction of money flows through the economy.

Because of the effect of these changes in the economy, we cannot wait for the stimulus because the problem gets much worse while we delay.

I wish Republicans could understand this and stop playing politics.

Posted by: idellep | February 5, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I didn't read Kristol's column in the Times and I won't read it at WaPo. Why is a man who obviously spends at most 20 minutes a column writing for two of this country's best newspapers? The man doesn't have a unique idea and is one of the most inarticulate writers I've had the displeasure of trying to read. It must be nice to be a member of the "bubble world" where talent doesn't seem to be a prerequisite for a job. Surely, there are well spoken, conservative pundits out there the WaPo could hire without resorting to a man who's obviously relied on family name to get this far. This man is a lightweight and the Post should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to the right by hiring him!

Posted by: mizerello | February 5, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

So the Times kicked Kristol's butt off their pages and he ended up here. That must have Fred Hiatt's doing.

Welcome to the Post, you neocon doucebag. I look forward to your columns.

Posted by: maggots | February 5, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Middle Class and the Poor, Drop Dead. Before you go take nyrunner101 with you.

Posted by: willcrary | February 5, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh Billy, time to change your adult diapers.

Posted by: dhxx | February 5, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

That's the Washington Post for you- providing endless op-ed space to GOP hacks who lied us into the Iraq war, who haven't been right about anything for years, and who helped drive America's economy into a ditch.

Kristol is a joke without a shred of credibility.

This is Fox News-worthy trash.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | February 5, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is right! --Boy people surely have short attention spans--The democrats are the ones who got us into this financial mess with Fannie and Freddie and the debt certainly grew with the Democrats, because they don't pay taxes!!!

Posted by: Sherri04 | February 5, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks rupert I checked the CBO anyalsis according to Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times...

"President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.

CBO estimates that by 2019 the Senate legislation would reduce GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent on net. [The House bill] would have similar long-run effects, CBO said in a letter to Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, who was tapped by Mr. Obama on Tuesday to be Commerce Secretary."

And Congats on finding a economics professor who midly supports the stimulus...The University of Chicago's Gary Becker, another Nobel laureate, disagrees along with John Cochrane, also of the University of Chicago.

NYU's Thomas Sargent claims "The calculations that I have seen supporting the stimulus package are back-of-the-envelope ones that ignore what we have learned in the last 60 years of macroeconomic research."

Thats not a exactly a ringing endorsement of the stimulus

Heres a list of hundreds of economists who oppose the stimulus, Nobel laureates among them(I know how much you esteem the opinions of the Laureates)

These distinguished economists feel quite differently then your lone economics professor

but congrats on finding one who could support the bill

Posted by: ReaganwasRight7 | February 5, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

why wold the post print this. it really seems to have sparked a spirited debate. I am curios why NoBama is so eager to talk directly to Iran yet calls republican input tired ideologies.

Posted by: Rvf0509 | February 5, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans' Opportunity.

Not unlike the Nazis' opportunity in today's Germany.

Good luck with that, Kristalnacht.

Posted by: wardropper | February 5, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

More evidence of how ugly and closed-minded you liberals are. Absolutely incredible. Why don't you skip the ad hominems, the screeds, and the off-topics, and comment on his column? His opinion actually makes perfect sense, which is why you liberals can't stand it: facts and logic have no place in your world.

Posted by: unapologetic | February 5, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

On the floor of the Senate the Republican Sessions advocated that he and his cohorts should start an insurgency. I am sure you Mr. Kristol would agree. I hope they throw Sessions in jail where he belongs. That my friend smells like treason, and it sure feels like treason. You have all gone beyond civil discourse.

I can not think of anyone advocating this type of thing as a fellow American. That is the language of a traitor. Where is the Sargent at arms. It is time to be forth right and honest. Traitors should be put in jail and stripted of the valuable rights we Americans hold dear.

And, please don't try to hide under the freedom of speach laws. The man is standing in the capital advocating insurgency. Throw him in jail.

And Don, (as in Don the majority owner of the Post) The times we shared lunch together I never dreamed you would swing this noble instatution that your mother built so far right that the acid, twisted, visions of so many fear monging right wingers would flow from your plate. My God, Don what happened to you?

The Republicans lost the election, Our President has bent over backwards to be truely bypartisan. But they still believe they can says and do anything, including advocating teason.

Is there anything they would not say or do to tear this nation apart because they don't control it any more?

Posted by: vonpfahl | February 5, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

It would serve the GOP to wait until there is an uproar from the populace to pass this pork bill. It isn't there yet. It is moving the other way. The GOP is not against spending money - this is just a bad plan. Obama has them on spending $billions, he just needs something that doesn't seem like piling on to line items that will be in the actual budget (remember this is in addition to what will be spent anyway by our government). Even Reid is saying the polls (voters) are turning against this particular bill.

Posted by: jcn1222 | February 5, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there sure are a lot of hateful, ignorant people responding to this article.

A lot of comments about him being "sacked" by the NY Times. Sounds like a badge of honor to me.

Kristol is right. The bill is BS - incorporates long-term liberal fantasy projects and doesn't do enough to create the stimulus we need.

And like it or not, that does present an opportunity for Republicans in Congress. Whether you like it or not. Losers.

Posted by: crappolapicks | February 5, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is the guy who pushed for Sarah Palin. (How would she handle a crisis like this? God forbid we ever have to find out.) Kristol was fired by The New York Times because of his incompetence and Republican meddling/cheerleading. He has zero credibility. I can't understand why The Post would publish him unless it thinks readers will find it enjoyable to hurl rotten garbage at the doofus in this comments column. His addition diminishes The Post.

Posted by: pageantwalk | February 5, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

For the stimilus package to have maximum benifit, it needs to have the optimum mix of short term capital injection followed by positive net present value projects of varying duration and startup time. If Congress were to split the package up into two parts the likely outcome would be that the short term capital injection (mainly tax cuts) would run its 6-12 month course and Congress would still be debating about the relative merits of the long term projects guarenteeing that they would not be in place in time to maximize their effectiveness. Best to just get the job done now. If there are a few negative net present value projects (that will not create an asset that will generate or facilitate more taxable income than was expended) in the package, then take them out.

Posted by: DrS1 | February 6, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

The Retaliban (aka RNC, GOP) Party - of which Kristol is a chief imam - hates America, hates democracy, despises the Constitution. The Retaliban party desires fear, misery, and subjugation for a once free people. They despise you weak-willed, whiney Americans, they think you are pathetic and fearful and loathesome - they think YOU are worthy only of tyranny. Vote for the Retaliban Party, and read religiously the Faschington Post editorial page, newsprint palace of the neocon agenda. Praise almighty NEOCONGOD. Thanks be to NEOCONGOD.

Posted by: kit1 | February 6, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

You bunch of whiney Left-Liberal undereducated morons. The Big O shows that he's in over his head and you can't stand it. His bumbling incompetence makes George Bush look like a genius. Let's see what tax cheat he nominates next.

Kristol puts forth a reasoned proposal and you act like a pack of hyenas. You want to bankrupt my children and grandchildren because of your belief in this goofy messiah. Read the bill - I'm sure you haven't. It's a bunch of crap.

Posted by: jeffrooney | February 6, 2009 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Kristol's Republicans are going to end up with the entire country against them, after Americans realize the only thing the Rep-offs will accept is globalization (into the hands of the world's richest people) of our most precious resources, command and control thru fear, and a slave class that includes everyone but the new Robber Barons & their henchmen. Including the likes of Kristol.

Posted by: artforhumans | February 6, 2009 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that crazies on the Left, when unable to rationally critique arguments they disagree with (or simply cannot understand), merely attack the messenger? The ad hominum attacks posted in response to Kristol's commentary betray a narrow mindedness and intolerance endemic among the Left. Get a grip.

Posted by: pcbrig | February 6, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Republicans would love to split the bill into two. The first being one of tax breaks they will support and the other, the spending measures, for them to block. So what else is new?

It doesn't matter if spending is twice as effective as tax cuts as a stimulus. It doesn't matter that the credibility needed to restore consumer confidence comes with a longer-term commitment to fix what needs to be fixed.

It is like rolling an old car into a service station and believing all you needs is a couple of gallons of cheap gas when the fan belt is cracked, the brakes are grinding, and the tires are bald.

You say give me the gas so you can drive to the nearest bar and you will worry about (ignore) the rest of it later.

Posted by: timothy2me | February 6, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Mr Kristol that some elements of a stimulus package deserve detailed analysys and deliberation.
I think that one of the items, a big one, is getting money to those elements of local and state government facing the imminent redundancy of human service workers; public safety worker, public health nurses, unemployment claims processors. The demand for their services is increasing rapidly, yet decreasing taxes force redundancies.
Spending the money quickly would be easy if the voters demand it. To say that these services are not now paid by Federal money would be risible to anyone who has ever put together an annual budget for a city or county, at least in California.
I would also like to know what are "pro-growth tax cut". especially a cut that would have a very prompt fiscal stimulus.

Posted by: bcordes | February 6, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

The country voted for Change.

Change = Recovery.

Nuff said.

Posted by: Terypat | February 6, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

So the short version of this article is Bill Kristol wants America to go into another depression. It will be good for Republicans.

Posted by: gtlloyd | February 6, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Why did the WP pick up this loser?

Posted by: nfarooqui | February 6, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I add my voice to those who have asked:

Why is Kristol in WAPO now? I hailed his departure from the New York Times only to find his insidious column here.

How can anybody so dignify the opinion of one of the chief propagandists for the invasion of Iraq?

Kristol should be confined to planting turnips or serving up hamburgers at MacDonald's!

Posted by: FedUp1 | February 6, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

agolembe says:"I keep hearing that there is too much pork and not enough stimulus in this package. Kristol says there is too much long term and not enough short term simulus measures."
It's all definitions - "pork" to Kristol and his ilk means any sort of spending that they oppose on ideoilogical grounds. This allows them to redefine the argument in their favor without making it clear what, exactly, they are really opposed to. It's very similar in effect to the "60-vote-rule" in the Senate - when the Democrats were in the minority, that was always referred to as an undemocratic filibuster of urgent national business; now it's simply a normal requirement needed by the Democrats to pass any sort of legislation.

Posted by: jcrobin | February 6, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

If Bill Kristol is against this bill then I'm sure it's the right thing to do. You,sir have been wrong about everything for the last 10 years, so I'm not sure why anyone should listen to you now. It's surprising that the Washington Post would hire someone so thouroughly discredited as a columnist.

Posted by: atlliberal | February 6, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

What Kristol and the other Republican/conservative naysayers forget is that having only short-term jobs in any stimulus bill won't stimulate jobs. Very few companies will do any significant hiring if the only plans are short-term. It is too costly to do a new hire if it is only short-term, which is why so many companies have turned to temps over the years (with no benefits, no job security for the temps). It will take long-term planning and long-term plans to turn the economy around, on top of and alongside immediate-hiring programs. The proposed bill is a mix of short and long term programs, plus safety-net money to get spending money immediately into the hands of those who are presently jobless and enable them to get healthcare. Depending on how you define it, there is probably some "pork" in the bill, but if you are talking about specific monies designated for specific governmental districts, specific companies, or narrowly defined industry segments, I haven't seen much of that. (Other than the Washington Mall resodding, which has been taken out - and, wouldn't resodding the Mall provide immediate jobs?) And NO, there is NO MONEY for ACORN in the bill - never was. That is one of the bigger lies from the neo-cons.

Posted by: vklip | February 6, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

And just to make my position plain, the Republican opposition to this, and most other Democratic, legislation amounts to ideologically-based claims without meaning or any factual support. No-one requires them to define their terms or give the numbers or cites; it's all accepted at face value, just as Democrats' claims are routinely rejected as incorrect or biased. I would vastly prefer that _all_ political claims were viewed as inherently biased, incomplete and untrustworthy, but with the lack of "oppositional" media that simply does not happen. Once again, poor Nixon - he was brought down for crimes that would nowadays not even be cocktail chatter. Step by step we descend, and at each step we tell ourselves that this is still fine. The frog doesn't feel the water heating, I guess. The fact thst this man Kristol is paid for his high-school-level insights is one of the clearest signs of the demise of what the Founding Fathers risked their lives for and did their best to create.

Posted by: jcrobin | February 6, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Considering the overwhelming success Republicans had in the past 8 years of making this country peaceful and prosperous I can see no argument with Mr. Kristol. How can anyone argue with the astounding successes of the Republicans we have all seen? Surely we need Dick Cheney and GW Bush back to assure us all more prosperity and peace such as we've luxuriated in during the past 8 years.

I say let the GOP take over running the country. Why get in their way. I expect to win the lottery any day now and I too will be a multimillionaire and will need the GOP to watch out for my interests as a rich jerk.

Republicans are so good at fiscal matters that most of this country's deficits were created and accumulated under Republican leadership. So who needs cahnge now? All the Republicans are asking for is that the poor be left to their own devices, the middle class be left to starve and the rich be given richly deserved lifeline. Mr. Kristol is all for the Republicans gifting America with more deficits and misery.

Posted by: palnicki | February 6, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

On August 26, 2002, Bill Kristol said, "Reading the Scowcroft/New York Times 'arguments' against war, one is struck by how laughably weak they are."

April 4, 2003: "There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni...There's almost no evidence of that at all."

April 28, 2003: "The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably."

Like Jonah Goldberg, Kristol is an idiot on the legacy wingnut-welfare gravy train.

Posted by: okjuggler | February 6, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol? Yikes... The Post has jumped the shark. Add Kristol to Hiatt, Krauthammer, Gerson and Will and the place is rank with warmongers. No wonder the business is sinking...

Posted by: CardFan | February 6, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Billy -- you must be living in a delusional world if you think the GOP has anything to say about the stimulus.


C'mon billy, you can try to analyze the stimulus bill but the way you are writing suggests the GOP has a coherent alternative plan and the votes to sway legislation... which are both delusional sentiments.

It was the wild spending spree of the GOP for the past 8 years - combined with tax cuts for the Top 1% [causing their income to double in the past 8 years] -- combined with "emergency spending bills for our 2 wars -- that have contributed to our economic decline. Add in some de-regulation and non-enforcement of Big Business & Wall Street; plus multi-national corporations moving their HQ overseas to avoid paying taxes -- and you have the perfect recipe for economic disaster... provided by the GOP!

Posted by: winoohno | February 6, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

who let this fugging arse kristol into the post? jeez, we just got rid of his simpering war criminal arse at the ny times.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | February 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

As a moderate, I realize it may be silly to write this under a blog with the word "Partisan" clearly in its title, but...

This piece is exactly the last thing America needs right now. With its headline "The Republicans' Opportunity" we're once again back to the idea that there are two teams in Washington, and one must circumvent the other at any cost to win some imagined game.

I am fine with debating the pros and cons of the bailout bill. But to encourage the "us vs. them" attitude of politics with a headline and piece like this seems a disservice to the best ideas that both parties' representatives might bring to the table.

To hell with this sort of thinking.

Posted by: kingpigeon | February 6, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Why do we need to hear from Bill Kristol?

Posted by: HeavyJ | February 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

1) The Repubs gave us tax cuts so large we have the largest deficits in the nation's history
2) This largesse produced the slowest economic growth of any 8 year since WWII
3) Wage growth was negligible

Why would anyone want to follow this obviously flawed prescription for our economy?

Posted by: Whylee98 | February 6, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, Kristol and his ilk/cohorts in the GOP wanted to flush the nation they claimed to protect (...really just their off shore bank accounts to avoid the taxes needed to fund their grasp for oil and oil pipelines) down the drain of a bathtub.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Mr. Kristol and your ilk!

Posted by: spritey | February 6, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

This is the Mr Kristol who can't be bothered to research and vet his narcissitic rants in the media so now thinks he's qualified to discuss economics, ROFLMAO.

Posters have pondered here why Kristol even has a column/blog.

Obviously, as his GOP party cohorts screamed from the roof tops: Kristol, a man of his senior age . . never did budget for himself very well and lived above his means and is, himself, the root cause of the nation's economic.

Poor old thing still needs a job because he didn't do what his GOP task masters berated: budget nor live within his means all those years on the job.

Posted by: spritey | February 6, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Glad to know where Bill Kristol landed. He is good conservative. Another reason the TIMES is headed into the pits. You folks at the POST seem to always be 1-up.

Turk in Indiana

Posted by: Comm21 | February 6, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

William Kristol is a war criminal, responsible for the deaths of over 600,000 civilians and 4,000 American servicepeople in Iraq. That the Post is expanding its stable of neocon Iraq War accomplices shows that it is not interested at all in rehabilitating its reputation, which is still in rags.

Simply disgusting. The Washington Post has become like post-WWII Argentina was for Nazi war criminals looking for a place to land.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 6, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Take a gander at this laughable compendium of spectacular idiocy on Kristol's part, from his wikipedia entry:

According to journalist Dana Milbank, Kristol was "perhaps the most outspoken supporter of the Iraq War".[9] On September 18, 2002, he declared that a war in Iraq "could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East." A day later, he said Saddam Hussein was "past the finish line" in developing nuclear weapons. On February 20, 2003, he said of Saddam: "He's got weapons of mass destruction ... Look, if we free the people of Iraq we will be respected in the Arab world." On March 1, 2003 — 18 days before the invasion of Iraq — Kristol dismissed the possibility of sectarian conflict afterward. He also said, "Very few wars in American history were prepared better or more thoroughly than this one by this president." He maintained that the war would cost $100 billion to $200 billion (the cost is now about half a trillion dollars). On March 5, 2003, Kristol said, "We'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction."

In 2003, just as the Iraq War was starting, Kristol stated, on the National Public Radio show Fresh Air, "There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."[10] Kristol also wrote a book "The War Over Iraq" with Lawrence Kaplan before the Iraq War and stated that: "The United States may need to occupy Iraq for some time. Though U.N., European and Arab forces will, as in Afghanistan, contribute troops, the principal responsibility will doubtless fall to the country that liberates Baghdad. According to one estimate, initially as many as 75,000 troops may be required to police the war's aftermath, at a cost of $16 billion a year. As other countries' forces arrive, and as Iraq rebuilds its economy and political system, that force could probably be drawn down to several thousand soldiers after a year or two." [11] (The war in Iraq currently costs approximately $12 billion a month, and American forces there number about 150,000.)

Posted by: B2O2 | February 7, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding me, why is Bloody Billy over at WaPo? Isn't your paper in decline enough without this intellectual lightweight around to spew his delusional diatribes?

Posted by: fedupinnh1 | February 7, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

The claims that the Republicans shouldn't have the right to participate in this economic stimulus package because they're...well..Republicans are very childish.

Equally silly are the nasty comments from people who don't like Kristol.

I'm not sure what "changes" people believe the last election ushered in, but I do know it did not entitle anyone to issue royal edicts about anything. And it certainly didn't entitle them to not have to hear from people with whom they disagree.

Time for people to come down to earth and swallow the hard fact that it's still a country with a variety of competing viewpoints. They may want to silence the voices with which they disagree, but those voices are still going to be loud and clear and persist.

Posted by: AndreainNY | February 7, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

HeavyJ: "Why do we need to hear from Bill Kristol?"


If for no other reason than to hear what the rest of the country thinks. Clearly, many are out of practice hearing counterarguments.

Kristol is just saying what centrists and those on the right know: This bill is part social policy promotion and part stimulus.

Half the country may support Obama's agenda, but far fewer support its implementation when we're undergoing the worse economic crisis of the century.

I hardly believe that were candidate Obama to have proposed to the nation that he expand social programs when the country's economy was collapsing that he would have had quite the same reception.

Posted by: AndreainNY | February 7, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

so this is where you are; i actually agree with your fair minded, well balanced approach - 2 steps as it were - what happened? the nyt pressure wore off? i'll let it ride, but i'm still considering my wish to banish you to a paper i don't read. like the anchorage gazette.

Posted by: sellingpencils | February 7, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Kristol, and certainly not of the hypocritical Republicans who giddily passed rebate checks from China when Bush asked for them, but now slam on the breaks for Obama. I agreed with the bank bailout, but even more so for the revamped rules that Obama's adding (still using half of the original funds from Bush admin). However, the stimulus that's currently in the Senate is crapola. I agree with Kristol on this one. We need real stimulus and save the other JUNK for another debate. Democrats act like it's Christmas. I disagree with Kristol that the unemployment benefit extension should be part of the first bill passed. Give people a job, not some puny little unemployment check that will not pay a mortgage. JOBS FIRST--for stimulus--all the rest should be in the budget!

Posted by: lrez | February 7, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse


OK, moron, gloves off. That CBO report those idiots referring to is the non-existent one, the one the GOP made up, the one the CBO says didn't exist because they didn't make it, and is there another way to phrase that idea? This is typical, irresponsible journalism.

And you are an idiot.

Posted by: RuperttheBear | February 8, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm Bill Kristol and my Daddy got me this job. I'm a talking points parrot partisan hack. I have no ideas of my own.

I think the US can solve all the problems of other countries by invading them but we should not help Americans get an education. But we should give corporations bail outs. Privatize the profits and socialize the risks!

Posted by: themashby | February 9, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Clearly themashby you need the government supplied education you're lamenting, because your comment is both ignorant and inane. I can't even offer you the "talking points parrot" label because you don't even go so far as to serve up a point, period. Just schmarmy babble to notch a comment on the board. So kudos for clicking "submit" successfully. Finally you're somebody.

Not that you've bothered to push past the info the Alpha news bottle feeds you, but your criticism that the US solves "all the problems of other countries by invading them," is just plain wrong and simple minded, not to mention seething in anti-American sentiment. Climb down off your cross for a minute and take a hard look at what the US does world wide, both in terms of cash and the personal investment of our people. Africa is just one fantastic example.

It's a shame when the bobble heads on the net think it's cool to put down the US at every possible turn, but maybe that's just the negativity you've been sold by the MSM seeping out. Worse still, you probably think what you say is true. You definitely got short changed.

Posted by: DantheWaresMan | February 9, 2009 3:26 AM | Report abuse


They need to be able to pin the outcome on BOTH parties. Clearly if this was a slam dunk stimulus package, no one would care about GOP support.

Posted by: DantheWaresMan | February 9, 2009 3:34 AM | Report abuse

They booted Kristol off the New York Times so the Post picks this loser up? Pathetic. This is the same fool who told us that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, who told us that McCain would win in 2008, and now tells us that there is no rush to pass a Stimulus Bill. I guess an effective national employment rate that now is above 10% means nothing- his only interest is political opportunism not the interests of the American people.

Posted by: andrewburroughs | February 9, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic.. still justifying Voodoo Enronomics...

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | February 9, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Investments in health care, renewable energy and education? Oh President Obama, you should be ashamed!

Posted by: smithpjm | February 9, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse


Well said. The Washington Post had an article in which economists across the political spectrum agreed that the past eight years, with its large tax cuts, were the worst years for job creation and economic growth since the late '40s.

Looking past the hypocrisy of the Republicans, who advocate fiscal responsibility only when Democrats have the majority, it seems that many view tax cuts as the only real "stimulus." Any form of government spending is immediately written off as "pork." While some measures certainly constitute pork, I don't think anyone can argue that our country needs tremendous upgrades to its infrastructure, a large part of the proposed stimulus.

I support the stimulus. Our country has tried tax cuts for the past 8 years without the promised stimulating effect on our economy. Let's try this plan, with tax cuts AND spending.

Posted by: mdrutl | February 9, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Bill just get whacked over at the NYT?

Would somebody please take the padding off that whack-a-mole stick an put some spikes on it?

Posted by: spigzone | February 9, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The policy debate was done in November Bill. We called it an election. Now get back in your hole.

Posted by: horace_simon1 | February 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol, and your allies, you and your Wall Street, Fat Cat buddies have won 20 of the last 27 rounds against the rest of us. Sucker punches, below the belt punches, deception, you've played us all for suckers, stuck us with Dubya, with a police state, and now, well "we won't be fooled again!"

Smile away you tool. Don't expect me to vote Republican as long as that party includes liars like you.

Posted by: chris_holte | February 9, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Re: What's wrong with the GOP? Look at "24"

Television’s “24” is a well-acted, well-directed action series, but it has been hailed as “marvelous” by many in the Republican establishment, and has been said to be proudly “right-wing,” “conservative” and “pro-GOP.” Well, that says all we need to know about the current plight of the GOP. Take a look at it this season. What is the show saying? (1) Yes, we MUST fight wars! Well, duh, most sane adults agree with that, the big question always being which ones. (2) Sometimes we MUST resort to torture! The problem is that the 24-hour immediacy scenario that Jack Bauer is always up against is, according to most terrorism experts, exceedingly rare. So then why all the emphasis on it? If an agent must pull out a terrorist’s toenail to prevent the soon-to-occur obliteration of New York City, he or she may very well do that and then just take whatever punishment the law provides, which might be fairly light after the agent is given the Key to the City and a ticker-tape parade. (3) On the other hand, “24” does everything it can to protect itself against accusations of being politically incorrect. This season (at least before I gave up watching) we are supposed to be rooting for sending American troops to Africa to stop their genocide of the month. (Yes, I care, but isn’t it “racist” to always assume that African problems can never ever be solved by Africans?) Aside from Jack, the protagonist (an exception typical in PC novels), the most evil people, like arms merchants, or a past Nixon impersonator (although a very good actor), are almost always white men. So who are the noble people? (a) A female president who is brave enough to be piously chomping at the bit to send young Americans into the African meat grinder--and, gosh, who could possibly object to a war like that? Because we would be helping oppressed black people! (b) But the most noble, no, Christ-like character in the series has been a martyred black ex-President. But where is there anything like a defense of Western civilization, of American borders, or the best in American traditions? Or of the environment that is the foundation of our pioneer frontier heritage? Are you kidding? Anything like that might be politically incorrect or--Gulp--hurt business! The fact that liberal Democratic leaders are largely deranged on issues like immigration is no excuse. So then what is wrong with the GOP? The GOP has become a hollowed-out husk with no larger purpose than to defend war, Jack Bauer tactics, the right to life and, towering above all else: lower taxes for high-income groups! Now there’s something to fight for Jack.
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Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job & Eco Sanity

Posted by: tma_sierrahills | February 10, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

President Obama's Media Trips to Indiana and Florida:

How many 50 foot RV's from Elkhart, Indiana will be part of Obama's Green Economic Stimulus Plan and how many jobs will be restored?

How many RV's that get 3 miles/ gal or 3 gal/mile will recieve exemptions under Obama new CAFE mileage requirements?

Could new RV's receive the $15000 new home tax credit?

How many 2nd homes for Rich Snow Birds in Ft. Myers and Naples Florida will be part of Obama's Foreclosure Rescue Plan?

How many real estate speculators from all over the country that bought in Ft. Myers and Naples Florida will be bailed out by Obama's Foreclosure Rescue Plan?

How will 90% of Obama Stimulus Plan jobs will be private sector, world class, long term, information technology economy jobs?

He doesn't make "walking around sense"

Posted by: bamvol | February 10, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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