Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanks a Trillion

After months of boring billion-dollar bailouts, the Change in Washington will usher in an exciting new time of the trillion for the incoming Congress and Administration:

*Cost estimates of the Obama stimulus plan for the economy are now $1 trillion over two years.

*Politicians will be under pressure to stop the steep drop in the value of American homes, now estimated to have fallen by $2 trillion this year.

*The new people at Treasury and Congressional oversight committees will be busy trying to find out what happened to an estimated $2 trillion shoveled out to banks and other financial houses in the past months. (Bloomberg News is suing under the Freedom of Information Act, but government agencies won't say.)

*When they get a closer look at the books, the Obama people may finally see if the Iraq war cost us only $1 or $2 trillion, as the Congressional Budget Office figures, or closer to the $4 trillion and counting that Nobel economist Joseph Stieglitz has been calculating.

At this rate, it will soon be time to update the folksy wisdom of the 1960s Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen: "A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

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