Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama Stimulus Math

One problem with government spending is that it is usually so gigantic that is nearly impossible for people to put their minds around it. It's hard to differentiate between a sum like $25 billion and a larger sum, such as Obama's propose stimulus, of $825 billion. Certainly, it's difficult to personalize an astronomical number like that. Here is my attempt. I have done this routine before on here, but I am doing it again because I think it is easy to forget just how big a stimulus package this is.

The current U.S. population is about 305 million people. At $825 billion, that comes out to about $2700 per person- that's over ten grand for a family of four!


P.S. Despite my unrelentingly bleak viewpoint, I feel like America's great political hope lies in initaitives like this. Look at the spreadsheet that is linked. First, it is remarkable that kind of information is now available at your fingerprints and that it has been supplied (and will be supplied going forward) by a growing army of volunteers. Second, one glance at that spreadsheet should make it clear that the stimulus is being pumped based completely on politics and not economics. Virtually all that money will be wasted.


Aztec Tomb said...

You need to get your facts straight.

This isn't Obama's proposed plan. It's the House Democrat's plan and it's going to be trimmed. BHO outlined his priorities earlier today and it all makes solid sense.

Aztec Tomb said...

BTW, you won't have to rely on volunteers to track the stimulus cash.

American citizens will be able to follow the spending authorized by Barry by consulting a new website -- -- that will launch once the stimulus plan passed.

So, I welcome your faith in the people, but you should spare a little for Obama.

GammaBoy said...

I didn't intend to bang on Obama. This clusterstimulus is more Congress' fault that Obama's, but he certainly has not been reticent to preach the need for more spending.

I'm glad to hear about the website. Obama's desire for cleaner government is commendable. Unfortunately, he is going to discover that you can't "fix" government. Certainly not as long as a vast river of money emanates from its mouth. Fixing government means reducing government.

VooDoo said...

Aztec, you're kidding yourself if you truly think that a website like will be able to track how the money is being spent. Since I currently work inside a federal agency on an enormous program, I have seen up close how funds are tracked. Unless BHO's plan to stimulate the economy is to hire thousands of accounts just to track federal spending, it's laughable. And BTW, the funds in my particular program were appropriated in such a way so Congress in theory could better control how money was spent. The end result: It's too complex for Congress to figure out, the program can barely keep up tracking itself, and those good intentions just mean more bureacracy slowing down a intended-to-be fast tracked program. LMAO on this idea.

Aztec Tomb said...

They do have people to track this stuff. It's called the Congressional Budget Office.

VooDoo said...

Aztec, your fantasy of how government works leaves much to be desired. Do you realize how many Inspector General and audit agencies there are in the government that try to keep up with this information, and either fail or the amount of effort and manpower involved is phenomenal? I applaud the concept, but the execution will result in lots of 'stimulus' money going towards auditors/accountants and/or delaying projects as the lower-level units try to keep up with the information demands. I have personally seen and continue to experience both in my current role.