Spending money that we don't have for projects that we don't have to have

Republicans push back against turning a stimulus package into a bloated boondoggle.

Republican Senators spent the day at a retreat at the Library of Congress with three distinguished economists–Martin Feldstein, Larry Lindsey, and Peter Wallison–talking about how to get the economy going.

At the conclusion of the retreat Senators McConnell and Alexander spoke about what an economic stimulus ought to contain:

Senator Alexander: We — as the leader said, we want to be full participants in any kind of stimulus package that actually helps our economy grow, helps create jobs, helps stabilize housing.

We’re not interested in just spending money that we don’t have for projects that we don’t have to have at a time of such high deficits.

Watch the video:

The “spending money that we don’t have for projects that we don’t have to have” line sounds much more reasonable than talking about as much as a $1.3 trillion boondoggle on top of what is already a $1.2 trillion deficit.

According to the Associated Press, Feldstein and Lindsey support a big bailout:

Feldstein recommended a $400 billion investment in one year, Obama aides said, and Lindsey said the package should be in the range of $800 billion to $1 trillion.

So why did not the Senators hear from an economist like Harvard’s Greg Mankiw, who served on Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, and is reported to be skeptical about the need for an economic stimulus?