The president has proposed several short term measures to help prevent a double-dip. Almost all of them have been supported by Republicans in the past. Lindsey Graham even called Obama's current proposals the kind of stimulus he had wanted in 2009. And the American public favor all of them, in margins that range from crushing to substantive. Even Republican voters back all of them save two – extending unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut:
This is the second Gallup survey conducted in the last two weeks showing that the American public broadly supports Obama's jobs plan. A majority of Americans interviewed this past weekend believe the plan would help at least a little to create jobs and improve the economy.
Many of the proposals embedded in the plan receive majority support, and Americans strongly endorse the idea of paying for the plan by raising taxes on higher-income individual taxpayers and by eliminating tax deductions for some corporations. While Republicans are considerably less positive about the potential efficacy of the plan than are Democrats, a majority of the former favor a number of Obama's proposals, and also favor eliminating tax deductions for corporations to help fund the plan.
Something can be done here. And something should be done here. I don't believe these measures will transform the growth rate, or do much but keep us afloat for a while longer. But they are a test of the GOP establishment. Can they not even agree on these things? If not, why not?