February 9, 2009
While readers of the Lake County New-Sun were engrossed in the 3-ring circus atmosphere of Rod Blagojevich’s removal from the governorship — whose removal represents only the tip of an iceberg in excising the reek of corruption here in Illinois — attention was diverted from a parallel event taking place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 28. It was then that the $1.17 trillion House stimulus bill was passed.
10th District Rep. Mark Kirk is to be applauded, along with every other House Republican and eleven Democrats, who stood up for their country and for the American people to oppose the House bill. The bill passed with a final vote of 244 – 186. In the bill less than 5 percent of the $1.17 trillion was targeted to repair America’s deteriorating infrastructure, with much of that spending not happening until 2010 or later. Additionally, the bill was laden with tens of billions of pork-laden items. As House Minority whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) related to the media the day the bill passed: “This was not a stimulus bill. It was a spending bill.”
With most Americans there is nary a blink of the eye when the figure $1 trillion is bandied about. I recently came upon these facts about how big $1 trillion really is:
1) One trillion is the number “1” followed by 12 zeroes, as in 1,000,000.000,000.
2) One trillion seconds of ordinary clock time is 31,546 years.
3) Spending at $1 a second, it would take 31,546 years to spend $1 trillion.
4) A trillion represents 1,000 billion, meaning that if 1 trillion children climbed on one another’s shoulders, they would reach 1,000 times beyond the moon.
About the bill itself, if passed, the Washington-based Heritage Foundation estimates that the trillion dollar bill will dump $10,520 of new debt per household into the laps of our children and grandchildren. About the creation of the 3.7 million jobs promised by President Obama, Heritage cautions that each job would cost more than $200,000, which is roughly equivalent to 5 times what the average American worker earns!
Said Henry Morgenthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary during the Great Depression of the 30’s: “We are spending more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work.” Roosevelt’s New Deal spending was small, after adjusting for inflation, but when compared to the present $1 stimulus bill package, it would amount to the largest spending bill ever enacted by Congress.
Mark Steyn, a syndicated columnist, aptly defined the nature of the current stimulus bill under consideration in his Friday, January 30th commentary. In relating how “stimulus” comes from the verb “stimulare,” which means “to goad,”
Steyn then went on suggest that “stimulus” to Democrats is to “transfer massive sums of money from what remains of the dynamic sector of the economy to the special interests of the Democratic Party.”
Hopefully some sense will prevail in the upcoming Senate version of the stimulus bill. It is taxpayer’s money which is being frittered away. Economic growth isn’t created by government handing out free things. Instead, it is the government’s job to create a climate that makes the good things we work for attainable.
Voters here in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff should care. Call your federal legislators and let them know what you think about the gargantuan economic stimulus bill which might more appropriately be called “The Pelosi-Reid-Obama Debt Plan.”