Okay so so what? How about we give up the whole "stimulus" idea all together. While we are at it we can give up the foolish notion that tax increases will solve the budget problem. Then also the foolish idea of taxes being "fair" or that there is a "fair share". Also that taxes should be used to make life for "fair". That's just political rhetoric. Let's cling to the idea that government needs just enough money to function. Any more is a waste and government function should be kept to a minimum in order to create more freedom.
The idea that keeping government to a minimum maximizes freedom, while plausible on a superficial examination, doesn't really hold up under even the slightest scrutiny.
The first problem is to determine what such a theoretical minimum would even be. We could probably agree generally that it would include national defense, but how much national defense do we actually need? We'd probably agree that it requires a certain level of policing to prevent, or at least discourage as much as possible, crimes against our persons and property. But exactly which harm to our persons and property do we wish to prevent. Simply violent crime? People poisoning our water supplies and air? Do we want to prevent or allow people to sell dangerous products to the public? It certainly makes them more free if we don't regulate such things, but it makes the rest of us less free from the dangers they pose. And, it certainly wasn't an excess of government regulation that brought about our current economic troubles. It was the bad behavior of financial institutions "freed" from the "shackles" of government regulation that caused the financial collapse.
And what about government programs like FEMA? Disasters like Sandy and Katrina are beyond the ability of local governments to deal with, logistically and financially. You might ask why people in Kansas should have to pay for a disaster in the South or the Northeast. Well, people in Kansas benefit from being part of these United States, and, sharing the benefits, ought they not share the burdens and risks? (Interestingly, the more "liberal" parts of the country subsidize the more "conservative" parts of the country, but you don't often hear them complaining about getting money from, say, New York.) Doesn't that seem to meet the definition of "fair", however nebulous it might be?
In the end, you get down to the very messy issue of exactly what freedom is, and how government, the government of a free society at least, can optimize it for all citizens. And I use the word 'optimize' for good reason. If you maximize freedom for some, you necessarily diminish it for others. Getting rid of government might make a few people freer, as we descend into an anarchic state were the strong trample on the weak, but, for most, they'll end up less free to live their lives as they want, less free of the dangers that the social contract protects them from.
Yes, clearly we don't want a government like North Korea, but most of us don't want to live in the Wild West either. How much government is the right amount isn't a simple question to which the answer is, as little as possible. How much government is the right amount isn't even the right question to ask. The key to optimizing freedom isn't simply a matter of the quantity of government but the quality of it. Minimizing government is an appealing idea because of its apparent simplicity, but freedom isn't that simple an issue. Get rid of the wrong parts and you end up with less freedom. Add the wrong parts and the result is the same.
These are difficult questions that the right doesn't want to deal with. Actually, it's not so much that they don't want to deal with them, in fact, they don't want people to really think about them. People like the Koch brothers, who fund and control the agenda, including the Tea Party, on the right, want people to rally around simple slogans and simple ideas that appeal to their fears and misconceptions. They want to diminish government to increase the freedom of the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else. But that's not the ideal this country is founded on. In fact, the Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to overthrow that very idea.