The Obvious Budget Deal

Adam Ozimek looks at the case for and against short-term stimulus paired with a long-term budget fix:

I think the best case against short term stimulus is to say that the government can’t be trusted to combine a serious long-term budget fix with a short term stimulus package. This means that no matter what they promise they will really pass a stimulus package without long-term cuts, which...will signal to the market that they are even more cowardly with respect to addressing the long-term problems than we first thought, and thus the fiscal position just got worse vis-a-vis politicians ability to handle it.

I think this is wrong though. If stimulus critics were to settle for a second best policy and use their political capital to haggle for serious long-term budget fix I think they could be successful.  Like Krugman, Ezra Klein, and Brad Delong, most liberals already seem to agree on the need for long-term budget fix, and so conservatives should be able to get a good deal on a long-term fix that they like.

That is, if "conservatives" were actually interested more in doing the right thing than in demonizing Obama. I'd like a second stimulus now combined with an ambitious long-term plan for slashing entitlements and defense. That fits no party's agenda. But my bet remains on Obama to do the right thing next year.