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One more word on the stimulus package

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Steve calls out the wrongheaded argument that spending $75 million on FBI salaries is not economic stimulus.

We can go a step further: Everything on the Republican list of “wasteful projects” is stimulative. $88 million for a new Coast Guard icebreaker? Someone is getting paid to build the ship. $248 million for new furniture at DHS headquarters? Someone has to build the furniture.

Even the $400 million for the CDC’s STD prevention programs has an effect on the economy, because someone — whether feds or contractors — is getting paid to administer those programs.

You can argue that these aren’t the most stimulative types of spending, or the smartest way to spend limited funds. Personally, I’d love to see more infrastructure spending in the stimulus bill, particularly for mass transit.

But anyone who tells you that spending on government programs isn’t stimulative is being disingenuous.

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