What's most striking about this list is that, for all their carping about this hodgepodge of a bill, the Nelson-Collins group seems to have approached their cuts in an even more haphazard fashion. They're not offering a comprehensive or coherent approach to stimulus spending. They haven't established a fixed standard, against which they're measuring each item. They don't have any sense of how big the overall package needs to be in order to work. They're just canvassing members to find out which items it's politically feasible to remove...
If Collins and Nelson had a shred of seriousness, they would be proposing the elimination of individual items--and then the substitution of programs they felt would stimulate the economy more efficiently. Where are the substitutes? Or, if they think the bill is bigger than necessary, they could announce a target amount and a rationale for why that lesser amount would work. Where's the target?
This isn't centrism. It's not fiscal conservatism. It's just grandstanding.