Friday, September 26, 2008

Why conservatives worry about the bailout dept

Thomas Sowell the other day put it well--after all, this could cost close to a TRILLION dollars:

"Estimates of how much money a government program will cost are notoriously unreliable. Estimates of the cost of the current bailout in the financial markets run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and some say it may reach or exceed a trillion.Many people have trouble even forming some notion of what such numbers as billion and trillion mean. One way to get some idea of the magnitude of a trillion is to ask: How long ago was a trillion seconds?A trillion seconds ago, no one on this planet could read and write. Neither the Roman Empire nor the ancient Chinese dynasties had yet come into existence. None of the founders of the world’s great religions today had yet been born.That’s what a trillion means. Put a dollar sign in front of it and that’s what the current bailout may cost.Will that money be spent wisely? It is theoretically possible. But don’t bet the rent money on it, or you could end up among the homeless.Whenever there is a lot of the taxpayers’ money around, politicians are going to find ways to spend it that will increase their chances of getting re-elected by giving goodies to voters."

It's always good to remind ourselves of just how much money we're actually talking about here.