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Glug, glug

The headline at Drudge, Let's Print More Money, highlights the problem of what to with an alky who owns a distillery and is lying under the spigot with his mouth open.

WASHINGTON — The forecast Wednesday of a jaw-dropping $1.2 trillion one-year federal budget deficit will make it harder for President-elect Barack Obama to win broad support for a massive stimulus package that would add even more to the red ink.

With his party controlling both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Obama's still likely to get the OK for spending and tax cuts that cost $1 trillion or more over two years and are designed to jump-start the economy and create or save 3 million jobs.

However, while many economists, business groups and politicians agree on the need for something dramatic, Obama now concedes that he'll have to wait until February to get a bill to sign. He'll probably find conservative "blue dog" Democrats as well as Republicans balking at the idea of borrowing another $1 trillion on top of this new annual deficit.

Leaders in the UK are of a similar cast of mind. The Daily Mail describes Gordon Brown's strategy to deal with the downturn. Yes, you guessed it. Print more money.

It has hurled billions at the banks without managing to get them lending and trimmed VAT with negligible effect on struggling stores.

Now Labour is considering a new tactic to deal with the recession - simply print more money.

With interest rates expected to hit their lowest level in 300 years today, the Government might be forced to create the billions it needs to launch another bank rescue scheme.

Not everyone is thrilled at the prospect. Stephen Spruiell at NRO Online interviewed former U.S. comptroller David Walker, who says "we need to realize that the same factors that led to the subprime crisis — too much debt, too little attention to cash flow, ineffective risk management, and waiting to do something until the crisis hits the door — those same factors exist for the federal government’s fiscal situation, with one big difference: No one is going to bail out America." But Walker forgot to add that will happen tomorrow; for today, Happy Days Are Here Again.

One man who knew the feeling of watching, helplessly, as things went to hell in a handbasket was Winston Churchill, whose forebodings were so primal that a poem he learned as a schoolboy flashed through his mind.

Although the House listened to me with close attention, I felt a sensation of despair. To be so entirely convinced and vindicated in a matter of life and death to one’s country, and not to be able to make Parliament and the nation heed the warning, or bow to the proof by taking action, was an experience most painful. ... There lay in my memory at this time some lines from an unknown writer about a railway accident. I had learnt them from a volume of Punch cartoons which I used to pore over when I was eight or nine years old at school at Brighton.

Who is in charge of the clattering train?

The axles creak and the couplings strain,

And the pace is hot, and the points are near,

And Sleep has deadened the driver’s ear;

And the signals flash through the night in vain,

For Death is in charge of the clattering train.