As fascinating as it is to read about Barack Obama’s proposed budget, and his attempts to arrest the financial and economic crisis gripping his nation and his presidency, I’m a little disappointed that Republicans are so far letting us down in one fundamental way: telling us how far the budget’s $1.75-trillion deficit would extend if it were laid out, stacked or otherwise measured in dollar bills.
Translating large numbers into semi-comic images is a staple of political dissent, in that it achieves the twin goals of a) attracting the attention of innumerate journalists, and b) clearly conveying to your constituents that you think they’re bone stupid.
Obama’s stimulus plan met with an abundance of creativity on this front, with the $787-billion price tag being described as:
- stacked one on top of the other, a pile of dollar bills 44,000 miles high.
- laid end to end, a line of dollar bills stretching from the Earth to the sun.
- wrapped side-by-side, a row of dollar bills that would encircle the Earth nearly 39 times.
(Coincidentally, these examples will actually be enacted as part of Obama’s effort to create jobs.)
Perhaps the Republicans have temporarily run dry of ideas for how to talk down to people. (Hey, it happens to the best of them. For a terrifying three-hour period in 2005, Stephen Harper completely forgot how to not have charisma.) In the meantime, let’s help them out:
If put into dollar bills…
… and stretched out end to end, the $1.75-trillion deficit would be able to circumnavigate Jessica Simpson three times.
… and piled on one top of the other, the $1.75-trillion deficit would totally blow that Vegreville Easter Egg out of the water, man.
… and placed into a blender, the $1.75-trillion deficit would make 280,000 delicious cash smoothies.
… and formed into origami birds, the $1.75-trillion deficit would stalk, attack and ultimately peck to death Tippi Hedren.
… and then changed for quarters, the $1.75-trillion deficit would make America jingle as it walked.
… and stacked in a huge pile that is then dropped on Joe Biden, the $1.75-trillion deficit would make Barack Obama very happy.