But Obama was only getting warmed up. His major howler was this:The Senate compromise evidently removes science funding from the recovery bill, prompting a sensible observation from Blogs for Industry's Jim Hu.So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? (Laughter and applause.) That's the whole point. No, seriously. (Laughter.) That's the point.Under this "logic," any bill that contains spending should be enacted because, by definition, it provides "stimulus." It doesn't matter how much stimulus is provided or when the stimulus will occur. This is quite possibly the most irresponsible position ever taken by a president on an economic issue.
The full text of the Senate bill is not yet available, prompting a petition to the Majority Leader and Our President to release the text and delay the vote until citizens can comment.
It's not clear to me that special pleading for science is intrinsically more meritorious, as economic stimulus effects, than anything else in the bill. Perhaps one argument for science in the stimulus is that it's probably less corrupt than some of the alternatives that will get passed.
But a side benefit of cutting science funding from the stimulus bill is that now scientists, no longer being bought off by our miniscule place at the trough, may start looking harder at whether this is actually good for the economy.