We *Know* It Is A Lot Of Money

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit1 Comment

Republicans' tactic of late is to point out how much money is being spent on the stimulus bill and the omnibus bill.

The latest comes from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion between the Stimulus and the Omnibus. To put that in perspective, that's about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour."

Well, no.  That money isn't going to be spent in 50 days, especially the past 50 days in which Congress passed those bills.  The stimulus will be paid out over several years, with most of the money going out the door over the next 18 months. So no one is spending a billion dollars an hour.

But McConnell's larger point (a point that he made before when he said ""If you started the day Jesus Christ was born and spent $1 million every day since then, you still wouldn't have spent $1 trillion.") is that the government is spending a lot of money.

Yes.  We know that.  But that's not a policy argument against the spending.  Because there is an economic crisis.  We can't twiddle with federal interest rates (which are at 0%).  We can't do a lot of things that we normally do.  So we need to stimulate the economy, and it is a big economy.

So what's the point of these metaphors?  They would perhaps have some impact if these were good times economically.  But these are not good times economically.