Don’t tell anyone, but Democrats and Republicans are threatening to work together to deal with a major economic issue—a stimulus package—just when you least expect it.

To its credit, the Bush administration has played it pretty straight so far. In 2001 and 2003, the administration used the need for short-term stimulus as a ploy to justify long-term tax cuts for the well-off that would ignore all rules of fiscal discipline. If adopted permanently, these cuts would increase the U.S. national debt by $1 trillion over the next decade.

But things are different this time.

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