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Opening Arguments

A billion here, a billion there

Let's hear it for Richard Lugar. He voted for the auto rescue package and the health insurance program for children and the financial bailout for banks. But he finally found his "no" button, apparently understanding the stimulus bill for what it really is:

The stimulus bill considered by the Senate is a sprawling affair, with massive spending for a wide variety of projects, some of which are completely unrelated to the immediate economic challenges before us," Lugar said in a statement.

Lugar said he supports parts of the bill, but there were too many provisions that wouldn't take effect for years and the entire package ensures that future generations would face billions of dollars of additional debt.

Then there's Evan Bayh, who -- well, he probably knows what the stimulus bill really is, too, but he voted for it anyway. "The economy is in desperate straits," Bayh said. "It does do some things to create jobs." Notice that phrasing. It does do some things to create jobs. Bayh voted for the stimulus package, it is said, after being part of "a bipartisan group that pushed to cut some of the bill's spending." Wow. The House version is $819 billion, and the Senate version is $838 billion. That's some cuttin' there, boy! If they cut any more, the version that hits President Obama's desk is likely to be $900 billion. I notice that everybody has taken to calling this just the "$800 billion stimulus plan." Well, what the heck, that's easier to remember, and what's a loose few billion here and there?


Bob G.
Tue, 02/10/2009 - 11:08am

That's the ONE thing I find impossible...no matter how MUCH government "cuts" anything...it keeps getting LARGER.

I know I just can't do it...I tried to cut that PIZZA to make it last longer the other night...and it NEVER got any larger, no matter HOW many cuts I made in it.

Must have some kinda "magic stuff" out there in D.C.


Leo Morris
Tue, 02/10/2009 - 11:12am

Have you seen the commercial for a restaurant (IHOP, I think) about the "all you can eat" pancakes? The guy keeps cutting a wedge out of his pancakes, and it keeps growing back. I think government must be like that. The "all you can spend" budget cuts!

Steven T.
Tue, 02/10/2009 - 4:38pm

Hey Bob, don't you know that all you have to do is cut each pizza slice half the remaining size from the end of the pie and you'll have an infinite number of remaining pizza slices? Maybe government math is the same -- it's not what you have that counts, it's how many times you can slice...

Bob G.
Tue, 02/10/2009 - 5:42pm

Aha....thanks Steve!
THAT'S what I've been doing wrong!