It's bad enough when illiterate jurors issue damages awards in the billions of dollars because they don't grasp the difference between a million and a billion. Now it turns out the Democrats don't know the difference between a million and a trillion.
Why not make the "stimulus bill" a kazillion dollars?
All Americans who work for a living, or who plan to work for a living sometime in the next century, are about to be stuck with a trillion-dollar bill to fund yet more oppressive government bureaucracies. Or as I call it, a trillion dollars and change.
The stimulus bill isn't as bad as we had expected -- it's much worse. Instead of merely creating useless, make-work jobs digging ditches -- or "shovel-ready," in the Democrats' felicitous phrase -- the "stimulus" bill will create an endless army of government bureaucrats aggressively intervening in our lives. Instead of digging ditches, American taxpayers will be digging our own graves.
There are hundreds of examples in the 800-page "stimulus" bill, but here are just two.
First, the welfare bureaucrats are coming back.
For half a century, the welfare establishment had the bright idea to pay women to have children out of wedlock. Following the iron laws of economics -- subsidize something, you get more of it; tax it, you get less of it -- the number of children being born out of wedlock skyrocketed.
The 1996 Welfare Reform bill marked the first time any government entitlement had ever been rolled back. Despite liberal howling and foot-stomping, not subsidizing illegitimacy led, like night into day, to less illegitimacy.
Welfare recipients got jobs, as the hard-core unemployables were coaxed away from their TV sets and into the workforce. For the first time in decades, the ever-increasing illegitimacy rate stopped spiraling upward.
As proof that that welfare reform was a smashing success, a few years later, Bill Clinton started claiming full credit for the bill.
Well, that's over. The stimulus bill goes a long way toward repealing the work requirement of the 1996 Republican Welfare Reform bill and rewards states that increase their welfare caseloads by paying unwed mothers to sit home doing nothing.
Second, bureaucrats at Health and Human Services will electronically collect every citizen's complete medical records and determine appropriate medical care.
Judging by the care that the State Department took with private visa records last year, that the Ohio government took with Joe the Plumber's government records, that the Pentagon took with Linda Tripp's employment records in 1998, and that the FBI took with thousands of top secret "raw" background files in President Clinton's first term, the bright side is: We'll finally be able to find out if Bill Clinton has syphilis -- all thanks to the stimulus bill!
HHS bureaucrats will soon be empowered to overrule your doctor. Doctors who don't comply with the government's treatment protocols will be fined. That's right: Instead of your treatment being determined by your doctor, it will be settled on by some narcoleptic half-wit in Washington who couldn't get a job in the private sector.
And a brand-new set of bureaucrats in the newly created office of "National Coordinator of Health Information Technology" will be empowered to cut off treatments that merely prolong life. Sorry, Mom and Pop, Big Brother said it's time to go.
At every other workplace in the nation -- even Wal-Mart! -- workers are being laid off. But no one at any of the bloated government bureaucracies ever need fear receiving a pink slip. All 64,750 employees at the department of Health and Human Services are apparently absolutely crucial to the smooth functioning of the department.
With the stimulus bill, liberals plan to move unfirable government workers into every activity in America, where they will superintend all aspects of our lives.
Also, thanks to the stimulus bill, the private sector will gradually shrivel and die. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of servicing the bill's nearly trillion-dollar debt will shrink the economy within a decade.
Robert Kennedy famously said: "There are those who look at things the way they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'"
The new liberal version is: There are those who look at things and ask, "Why on earth should the government be paying for that?" I dream of things that never were funded by the government and ask, "Why not?"