One school of thought is that the so-called stimulus failed because it was, as former Enron adviser Paul Krugman puts it, “woefully inadequate.” This is the economic analogue of the Kagan Principle, which liberal Supreme Court justices would use to limit freedom of speech: The more stubbornly corrupt the government is, the more justified it is in curtailing fundamental liberties in the name of preventing corruption.
It’s a common refrain among those who lust to increase government’s size and power: Every failed measure justifies more of the same. Poverty programs make it harder to escape poverty? We need more poverty programs! Racial preferences heighten racial division? We need more racial preferences! And a diversity manual for every janitor in the country! When ObamaCare ends up driving the costs of medicine up and the quality and availability down, you can bet the people who created that monstrosity will claim it failed only because it didn’t go far enough.
Let’s generalize this into the First Rule of Liberalism: Government failure always justifies more government. As Obama said today, complaining about Republican pressure to cut spending: “I’d rather be talking about stuff that everybody welcomes–like new programs.” Fortunately for the country, the voters don’t always agree.