Well, don't blow your stack yet, Galbraith. The bill is smaller because they cut the individual and family tax cuts and reduced the fucking home purchase tax credit, two immoral and pointless wastes of money. And House Dems got some of their state aid and they might get the school construction money back! The House version of the bill would maybe have created more jobs, and it looks like we're moving back to something that resembles that bill, maybe.
So—after fucking up the entire stimulus rollout by somehow assuming people would be reasonable about it and not just demand crazy new concessions and then still not vote for it, it looks like Obama's attempt to shame everyone into passing something vaguely resembling a plan an economist would tentatively agree with worked. His prime time presser wasn't terribly impressive but it did mostly successfully reframe the debate as "pass this bill or do nothing at all and let America burn." This reframing didn't really work on shameless Republicans but people like Ben fucking Nelson seem a little more amenable to econ 101 arguments.
And, conveniently, cutting the "rich people buying houses" tax credit helps "trim the cost" of the bill, which makes everyone look good, even if the bill should actually be bigger still, but whatevs, Obama didn't dream big enough to begin with.
Anyways, looks like the economy's saved, everyone, let's go party!