'Chump Change' Is Relative

How would you like to pay 20 percent interest not for a year, but a night? Not 365 days — one day. Then how would you like to be a U.S. taxpayer? Oh, you are? Well, good for you. You’ll relate to a $15 billion jobs bill that became an $18 billion jobs bill literally overnight.

Did you hear about this?

Apparently the Congressional Budget Office did some final scoring on the jobs bill to account for an added House measure and lo and behold, the thing turns out to cost $3 billion more than they thought.

I know, that's relative chump change these days; most congressmen don't even bother looking under their couch cushions for that kind of dough.

But think about that: A price tag that goes up 20 percent in a day. Then take a look at a trillion-dollar health care reform bill and ask yourself: What if that went up 20 percent overnight? That's $200 billion overnight.

And let's say that kind of stuff keeps happening: That the costs keep rising, the CBO keeps scoring and suddenly it's $300 billion more, then $400 billion more, then — with the gift of amazing compound interest — a trillion bucks. Double what they thought, double what they promised or maybe triple or quadruple.

Don't think it can't happen.

Don't tell me it hasn't.

Don't tell me about federal programs that stick to their budget — they don't — or programs that don't grow out of control — they do.

I know, an $18 billion jobs bill is just chump change. And we're just the chumps paying for it.

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