I want you all to picture something.

An unemployment rate almost double what we have today. A prime rate of 21 percent. Mortgages averaging in the high teens.

Gas lines wrapped around blocks. Companies laying off by the tens of thousands. Real wages dropping not one or two percent. Try ten percent.

Companies not making any money. Investors losing lots of money. Inflation out of control.

A Federal Reserve raising interest rates a point at a time to desperately rein it in.

I want you to recall malaise, and desperation.

I want you to remember the 1970s. And Jimmy Carter.

And tough times. Really tough times.

Then I want you to think of something.

If we just doled out $150 billion of stimulus for an economy a lot stronger than that mess, what the heck would we do today if we were facing that mess?

Arguably things were five times worse then... would we spend five times as much to make it right now?

After all, we've set a precedent here.

Sure some have mortgage troubles. But most don't.

And five percent of eligible Americans aren't working. But 95 percent are.

Somehow our definition of "hurting" has changed markedly over the years.

I just want you to know the price tag to deal with it has changed as well.

Politicians know that number.

Because they know they already have something else: Our number.

Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto" and send your comments to cavuto@foxnews.com

Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.