With voters angry about government spending, and economists divided about just what approach is the correct one, such aggressive steps are by now out of the question. "There's a deep frustration among economists that they simply don't know what to do under these circumstances, at least in terms of fiscal policy," said Bruce Bartlett, an economist who advised Republican presidents.
"I think there are a lot of economists who, in principle, would support some new fiscal stimulus, perhaps a jobs program where people were directly employed by the government or something of that sort," Mr. Bartlett said. "But politically it's simply not possible to do anything remotely like that under the current circumstances."
How many voters are truly angry about government spending? Take a look at this recent Newsweek poll:
Which one of the following do you think should have the higher priority for policy-makers in Washington right now:
37 percent: Reducing the federal budget deficit
57 percent: Federal spending to create jobs
6 percent: Don't know
Other recent surveys show that voters think unemployment is a much more urgent problem than the deficit (FAIR Action Alert, 6/24/10).
If it's "politically impossible" to introduce another stimulus bill, it's not because voters are angry about spending–it's because of the false narrative of voter anger about spending that the corporate media won't let go of.