Slouching Toward Stimulation

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Obama cautiously takes a small, single sip of beer during the campaign. Photo: Getty Images

This morning at 11 a.m., Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will lay out the Obama administration's plan to save the economy from slow death and eating off its arms.

• The creation of a "bad bank": A joint Treasury and Federal Reserve program, insured by the FDIC and financed by private investors, that will buy up cruddy mortgage-related assets from banks.

• Expanding the Federal Reserve's existing $200 billion program to between $500 billion and $1 trillion (gulp) in order to unfreeze the credit market.

• Using the remaining $350 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to inject ailing banks with capital, which, while it seemed like a bad idea on the first go-round, has become necessary since the banking system is basically insolvent. Not that anyone is going to say that word.

• A $50 billion initiative aimed at stemming home foreclosures, the details of which will be announced later in the week.

• The passing of the 600 Smiles Bill, which dictates that members of the federal government must wear happy faces in order to instill in the public the idea that everything is going to be fine.

We're just kidding about that last one. But truly, how can they expect people to start buying stuff again with everyone on the Hill throwing around words like "catastrophe" and looking totally grim? We already own the banks. The time for Communist propaganda tactics is now.

US Lays Out Plan To Sop Up Bad Mortgage Assets [Reuters]