Rahm Emanuel (as can be seen in this 13-second video) famously said
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you could not do before.
Here, Matt Yglesias reviews a new book by Michael Grunwald documenting the ways in which the Obama administration used the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “Stimulus Bill”) to accomplish many of its other legislative priorities in addition to trying to stimulate the economy. Though many of those other legislative priorities were arguably in the right direction, I think the commingling of stimulus with other efforts having a more partisan coloring accounts for some of the Republican hatred of the Stimulus Bill. This is a good example of the political economy issues I discuss in my post “Preventing Recession-Fighting from Becoming a Political Football.”