National Opinions

San Jose Mercury News: Stimulus needs fine tuning

If the sheer size of the $819 billion stimulus bill passed by the House on Wednesday doesn't over- whelm Americans, the am- bitious sweep of spending within the 647-page docu- ment should grab their attention.

The House package goes a long way toward its primary goal of jump- starting a stalled economy. But it also increases domestic spending in ways that would have been dismissed outright a year ago.

Obama and House Dem- ocrats aren't addressing the long-term implications of substantially increasing federal spending on edu- cation and adding substan- tial numbers to the Medi- caid roles. We agree that more dollars are needed, since the federal govern- ment has shortchanged those areas for years. But even though Obama calls it one-time spending, states will expect the increased spending to continue. The president and Democrats don't address this issue.

When the Senate takes up the bill, it should first remove any remaining pork.