The stimulus package, says Nick Gillespie, is “a classic Washington two-step”:
Propose something costing a bazillion dollars. Your opponent offers a “realistic” and “principled” objection and counters with something costing a bazillion dollars minus $X. You both agree, reluctantly of course, to something that ends up costing a bazillion dollars minus $X, plus $Y so that the price tag comes [in] lower than your original bid but higher than your opponent’s. Net result: Taxpayers are still out close to a bazillion dollars.
And as Ev Dirksen may or may not have said, a bazillion here, a bazillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.