“He would have been a fabulous president.”
— Ann Romney on her husband Mitt, to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
WHAT $52,000 WILL BUY
House Speaker John A. Boehner has done the dizzying math: “In the nearly four years since Senate Democrats last passed a budget, government spending has driven our national debt up past $16 trillion. That’s more than $52,000 for every man, woman, and child,” he says.
Mr. Boehner has suggestions on what people could do with an extra $52,000, based on exacting consumer costs gleaned from federal statistics, pollsters and other sources. One could buy an annual NFL season ticket — for the next 67 years, for example. The amount could also cover groceries every week for the next seven years, or home maintenance for the next quarter-century. The money could cover all car maintenance, gas and insurance for five years.
On the practical side, the taxpayer could put a down payment on a house, pay down a mortgage, pay the rent for the next four years, pay off personal debts and student loans or start up a business.
“It’s time to focus on the real problem here in Washington, and that is spending,” Mr. Boehner says, as he has said plenty of times.
A SUNDRY THOUGHT
“I wish he governed like he campaigned.”
— California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on President Obama, to HBO host Bill Maher.
CUT THE $1 BILL
Suggestions for federal spending cuts is a kind of cottage industry in the nation’s capital. The granddaddy of them all, perhaps, comes from Citizens Against Government Waste, which just issued “Prime Cuts,” a list of 556 recommendations that would save taxpayers $580.3 billion in the first year and $1.8 trillion over five years, the watchdog group says. Among their suggestions: replace the $1 paper bill, which has a life span of 21 months, with a $1 coin, which lasts 30 years and could save $146 million in production costs annually.
They would also eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, privatize the Postal Service and suspend federal land purchases. The group is particularly keen on ridding the Pentagon of the Medium Extended Air Defense System, which they say is “plagued” with cost overruns of nearly $2 billion and is a decade behind schedule.
“The nation can start on a path toward fiscal sanity,” says Tom Schatz, president of the nonprofit organization. He hopes the curious will check out the suggestions here: Cagw.org.