In an interview with CNBC that airs tonight Vice President Joe Biden said that more possible changes to the economic stimulus bill going through Congress right now could include more infrastructure spending and tax cuts.
Biden promised that there would be changes to the bill, “Well, my guess is you’re going to see maybe some additional infrastructure spending, you may see some changes in some of the things that have been put forward by the House in terms of spending, and maybe even some changes in the tax side. But look…” Harwood asked about more tax cuts, and Biden continued, “Well, I–that may occur. But here’s where we are. You have, as–for a city that did not function for eight years in terms of any kind of bipartisan consensus, any kind of real coordination, here we are, God willing, with less than, you know, 20 days in the first session, passing the most significant stimulus package in the history of the United States of America.”
If you read between the lines a bit, you can see that the White House isn’t exactly happy about some of the spending the House Democrats added to the bill, “Did it spend out every way we want to? I mean, for example, you have a circumstance where you want to make sure you don’t create, as they say, a tail. You don’t want to start a spending program that locks you into long, long-term spending. And the other side of it is you’d also like to be able to–if you could write it as, you know, there was no Congress, you just write it yourself, you could–you would like to have significant reforms built into this as well.”
I think adding a few more tax cuts, and cutting some of the fat out of this bill would be good enough to garner some conservative Democratic and Republican votes for final passage. The White House appears to almost be counting on the Senate to reshape the bill more to their liking. As I have suggested before, I think this bill should be focused on only economic stimulus. There will time later to consider other unrelated programs. The bill can’t be all spending, or all tax cuts. It has to be a balance of both, or it won’t work.