Why oh why can't Obama play this game? Suzy Khimm:
The incredible shrinking stimulus: President Obama’s concessions to Republicans on taxes and Social Security have grabbed the headlines, but there’s another big area where the White House has shifted considerably in the GOP’s direction: direct stimulus to revive the short-term economy.
In his original offer, Obama asked for $425 billion in [short-term] stimulus… $50 billion in infrastructure spending and other stimulus measures; mass mortgage refinancing to boost the housing market; $30 billion in unemployment extension; a $115 billion extension of the payroll tax holiday; and the extension of a host of business tax breaks known as extenders…. In his third offer, reported Monday, Obama dropped his ask from $425 billion to $175 billion in stimulus… keeping the federal extension of unemployment insurance, infrastructure spending and some business tax breaks, but abandoning the extension of the payroll tax holiday, among other major measures.