The 0.014 percent solution

[Edited to correct the English-major arithmetic of the original. &$@%.]

So CNN/Opinion Research asked Americans how much they think the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — the nonprofit that helps fund National Public Radio and PBS television — receives in federal funding, as a percentage of the federal budget. Most people responded that they thought it was between 1 and 5 percent of the federal budget.

That’s a little bit off. Last year, the CPB actually received about $506 million in taxpayer money. That’s 0.00014 0.014 percent of the federal budget — far less than about 1 percent of 1 percent.

It’s tempting to chalk up that poll response to innumeracy and ignorance, but that would be blaming the victim. Most Americans believe that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting represents a meaningful, significant chunk of the federal budget because they have been told that it does by their representatives in Congress.

Which is to say they have been misinformed. Deliberately. Lied to. Which is to say that members of Congress have been lying about funding for the CPB, NPR, PBS, etc.

National Public Radio actually received fewer federal dollars last year than Jerry Falwell’s private conservative sectarian college, Liberty University.

Republicans in Congress made a big deal out of their efforts to defund the CPB, pretending that this was a mighty blow for deficit reduction. They pretended this because they’re actually not very interested in deficit reduction, just in pretending they’re worried about it, and this seemed like an easy target where they could pretend to be accomplishing something while actually accomplishing nothing.

OK, not quite nothing — but it’s just easier to round down when you’re dealing with 0.00014 percent.

This is what “deficit hawks” do in Washington — they have big fights over tiny percentages. Witness the Shutdown Showdown Theater of the past week, a high-stakes battle with the threat of shutting down the government over the difference between whether the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year would be cut by 0.975 percent or merely by 0.925 percent.

America has a short-term budget problem due to unemployment. American has a long-term budget problem due to the increasing cost of health care. Anyone talking about debt and deficits who is not talking foremost about jobs and health-care costs is either grossly misinformed or lying to you. Period.

Consider the other big component of last week’s Shutdown Showdown Theater — the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood — a major source of health care for working class women in this country — receives a portion of federal Title X grants, somewhere between a tenth and a fourth of that funding.

Title X grants last year totaled about $317 million. That’s about 0.0000917 0.00917 percent of the federal budget.

None of that fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of this funding went to provide abortions. The Hyde Amendment has been law for decades. (Oddly, the same members of Congress who vote to ensure that the Hyde Amendment remains law are the ones who love to pretend it doesn’t exist — railing against “federal funding for abortion” as though they didn’t realize no such funding exists because it would be illegal under the Hyde Amendment.)

Yet Congressional Republicans spent the week pretending two things that were not true: 1) That cutting Title X funding would make a significant difference in the federal budget, and 2) That this had something to do with abortion.

Here is Republican Senate Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, saying something that is utterly not true:

“If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood,” Republican Senate Whip Jon Kyl said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “That’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

Not true. Not even close to being true.

Here is what Planned Parenthood does:

And as Ezra Klein notes: “Planned Parenthood itself estimates it prevents more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and 220,000 abortions.”

They also help prevent a great deal of expensive-to-treat-if-not-prevented preventable diseases. So the idea of “cutting spending” by eliminating Title X funding is about as smart as trying to save on your car maintenance by never getting your oil changed.

During last week’s theatrics, the Anti-Kitten Burning Coalition in the House of Representatives also tried to go after any funding for the United Nations Population Fund, claiming that this would prevent the Satanic baby-killers of Nicolae Carpathia’s UN from using that money for abortions.

Spearheading this effort was Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, who already knows everything you’re about to read below, but likes to pretend he doesn’t already know this. Mark Leon Goldberg tells the story:

A so-called rider attached to a budget proposal by House Republicans would eliminate U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund … out of a mistaken belief that UNFPA supports abortion.  …

Sarah Craven of the United Nations Population Fund … reiterated that UNFPA does not fund abortions.  After all, she said, UNFPA is a part of the UN–and there are several UN members states in which abortion is still illegal.  Beyond that, UNFPA’s steering document specifically excludes abortion as a method of family planning under UNFPA’s mandate. If that were not enough to convince you that U.S. funds to UNFPA does not go toward promoting or conducting abortion, the U.S. Congress has passed several pieces of legislation since the 1970s specifically stipulating that no U.S. funds can in anyway support abortion overseas.

Still, several members of Congress–most notably Chris Smith of New Jersey–are somehow convinced that UNFPA promotes abortion. Specifically, they are concerned that UNFPA abets China’s one child policy. This is false, but you don’t have to take my word for it. In 2001, the Bush White House sent a fact finding team to investigate UNFPA in China and found, “no evidence that UNFPA has supported or participated in the management of a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China.”

… UNFPA is forbidden by its own founding documents and its own members to support abortion. Beyond that, there are several pieces of U.S. legislation stipulating that American funding for UNFPA cannot be used for the abortion services it does not provide.  Beyond that, U.S. funding goes into a separate account so that Congress can deduct funds for money that UNFPA spends in China, evidently not in support forced sterilization.

What the UNFPA actually does is promote maternal and infant health around the world, particularly in the poorest developing nations. If the evil conspiracy of Satanic baby killers that Rep. Christopher Smith imagines himself a crusader against really did exist, then that conspiracy would celebrate and support his efforts to defund UNFPA.

Oh, and how much funding are we talking about there? Last year, the U.S. contribution to UNFPA was about $50 million. That’s about a tenth of what the Corporation for Public Broadcasting got, so I guess that’d be around 0.000014 0.0014 percent.

  • Javonderhaar

    I think you’re underselling the American public. I don’t think most people think public broadcasting is a significant part of the budget- they just don’t have a keen enough appreciation for the friggin gigantic size of the federal budget, so when they think about a figure that’s supposed to mean, “tiny, insignificant amount,” they go for 1-5%, rather than a fraction of a percentage.

  • Greg

    The federal budget is roughly $3.6 trillion. You say that $506 million is 0.00014 percent of the federal budget, but that’s wrong – it is 0.014 percent of the federal budget. It is also a 0.00014 share (or proportion) of the federal budget; however, “0.00014 percent” and “0.00014″ do not mean the same thing. So $506 is indeed a little bit larger than 1% of 1% of the federal budget. The other two percents quoted in your piece are also off by two decimal places.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    I think there is something to be said for the fact that the human brain is really bad with big numbers. That explaining to people that a million (1,000,000) compares to a trillion (1,000,000,000,000) the way a dollar (1) compares to a million. Wait, see– I’m bad at math, even. That is right though, yes? Cutting millions SOUNDS good, & lying cheating thieving politicians exploit that…& make sure to slash education, so the scam keeps working.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    Really? If 5% of my home budget was going toward NPR donations, I’d be a little pissed. As is it, the number is probably much more like .000014%.

  • Anonymous

    I guess I look at it as yes they’ve been lied to, but it’s a lie they eagerly eat up. A lie they desperately need to believe in. It’s why I have no sympathy for Tea Baggers. I may have empathy for them being such wrecks of human beings that they would want to live in a world where everyone else is a dangerous inhuman Other trying to take away what they believe is rightfully theirs. But that doesn’t mean I have to tolerate the damage their believing in harmful nonsense does.

    And that’s the problem. It doesn’t matter if you tell the average Tea Party member the amount of money PBS and NPR actually receive. They need to believe that PBS and NPR are evil liberal sleeper cells gobbling up their tax dollars and so they are going to do so. You can’t break through willful ignorance. You can only defend reality and stand up for accuracy and truth.

  • Froborr

    My sources put the budget closer to $3.5 trillion, but otherwise you are correct. I think the gist of the post still stands.

  • chris the cynic

    I write three pages every morning, often times it ends up being three pages of, “I don’t know what to write.” At some point I decided to quickly write up a new tax code. Actually, it was an addition to the current one. I figured that the current top tax rate should go back up to about 40% (39.something is the usual figure) and then five percent more for every bracket after that. Stopping at 95%, so eleven new tax brackets. I figured that the spaces between brackets would probably get progressively larger as it went up, I had some system worked out. I don’t remember the exact details.

    Anyway, I have no idea how well that would work, and it’s not exactly a policy proposal so much as something that I wrote when I couldn’t think of anything to say, but I bet that it’s a much more credible plan for balancing the budget than the cuts the deficit hawks are proposing.

  • Froborr

    To make sure I’m wrapping my brain around it, I always divide federal budget numbers by the population. So, for example, the U.S. government spends $500 million on public broadcasting? That’s about $1.65 per citizen. For comparison, it spends $700 billion on the military; that’s about $2,300 per citizen.

  • Lori

    And that’s the problem. It doesn’t matter if you tell the average Tea Party member the amount of money PBS and NPR actually receive. They need to believe that PBS and NPR are evil liberal sleeper cells gobbling up their tax dollars and so they are going to do so. You can’t break through willful ignorance. You can only defend reality and stand up for accuracy and truth.

    I’m surrounded by Tea Partiers and my observation is that their beliefs really stop at “PBS and NPR are evil liberal sleeper cells”. The tax money aspect is just icing on the hate cake. What bugs them isn’t actually the money, it’s that there’s something in the world that isn’t Fox News and that Planned Parenthood exists.

    Like you said, willful ignorance.

  • Froborr

    If I recall from bull sessions with an econ grad student I used to know, this works pretty well. Another suggestion he had was to have a *negative* 50% tax for the lowest bracket, and zero for a chunk above that, so that people weren’t paying net taxes *at all* until they got into the top 50%.

  • Froborr

    Oh, and he had a complicated step-down program with welfare that interacted with the negative tax in such a way that the negative tax always equalled your reduction with welfare, to eliminate the problem some people on welfare have that they’ll lose their welfare if they get a job, and the only available jobs pay less than welfare.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    @ Chris & Froborr, I’m totally appointing you guys to Alan Greenspan’s job when the revolution comes.

  • Michael P

    I’m sure Chris Smith’s statements weren’t meant to be taken as factual.

  • Anonymous

    I have appreciated all the debate about this, because I for one previously thought that Planned Parenthood primarily performed abortions. I knew they did some dispensing of birth control and treatment of STDs, but didn’t realize the extent of these services, and I had no idea they performed other health services for women as well as cancer screening and prevention. I’ve grown more and more impressed by all the PP does for women’s health.

    I am center-left, so I didn’t have deep-seated prejudices against PP, just misconceptions. Do you suppose there are others like me, perhaps moderates or independents, who now have a more positive and supportive view of PP because of all the information that’s come out about them?

  • Anonymous

    I also wonder about the folks that are so prejudiced against NPR. Do they realize that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting also funds all the PBS shows? Don’t their kids watch Sesame Street? Arthur? Curious George?

    Speaking as a mother, I don’t know what I’d do without PBS. The Nickelodeons and Disney Channels of the world produce preschool programs, and then jump straight to ‘tween shows. Only PBS produces quality programs for kids in the kindergarten through 3rd grade range.

  • Lori

    Don’t their kids watch Sesame Street? Arthur? Curious George?

    Those heathen shows that try to indoctrinate innocent children into being tolerant and having critical thinking skills and other dangerous notions? Heavens forfend.

  • Lori

    I’m sure Chris Smith’s statements weren’t meant to be taken as factual.

    http://gawker.com/#!5791100/watch-stephen-colberts-defense-of-planned-parenthood

  • Matri

    *sighs* They can cut all the funding they want, but the reality is that it will never be balanced if they continue to insist on tax cuts for the rich and the continuation of a war on an ideology which, by the way, the republicans started.

    Then their continued insistence on out-of-control breeding, insistence of an absolute void where education should be, and demands for everybody else to adhere to a lifestyle described in a book written when the height of technology is two round pieces of wood hammered into a flat piece of wood.

    It would be sad and pitiable if not for the fact that they are forcing this on others.

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=58ed6a0d2b47d813 Mouse

    Let me guess: Not one word about cutting the bloated military budget, just plenty of hemming and hawing over penny-ante stuff.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    They frequently also believe that we’re spending large parts of the budget on aid to foreign countries and that NASA gets at least 5 percent of the budget.

    I think that whatever gets the most publicity/notice is what they think gets a lot of money – that they don’t know where the money actually goes (and they won’t find out from newspapers and TV news).

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    Yep. Only social (safety-net) programs are bad….

  • http://twitter.com/maradydd Meredith L Patterson

    Oh, now that’s clever. I’d love to read more about the step-down program if you remember the details of how it works, or could point out a writeup.

    As a game theorist, I like to look at economics in terms of interacting incentives and how these interactions resolve in the real world. I’ve always found income taxes and payroll taxes problematic, because taxation is a disincentive, and disincentivizing working and job creation strikes me as a short-sighted move. From a moral and theoretical standpoint I prefer Pigovian taxes, which are taxes on negative goods; the proposed “Robin Hood” financial transaction tax in the UK is sort of an example of this (particularly when you take into account the negative effects that high-volume algorithmic trading has on market stability), and cap-and-trade is a modified Pigovian tax.

    Pigovian taxes can be difficult to calculate, though, unless they’re pushed out to the point of negative-good generation (e.g., taxes on gasoline to discourage people from driving cars with bad gas mileage), and then you have to be careful to avoid creating a passively regressive situation (since the poor still need to be able to get from place to place, and higher fuel taxes impact the poor disproportionately). More generally, you also have to structure the incentives/disincentives in such a way that cheating is less cost-effective than just playing the game honestly.

    Slight tangent, but: does anyone have any idea where to find statistics on the average prices for different types of market-driven professional services in lots of different countries? I’d like to compare them with OECD statistics on social safety nets. See, I’m from the US but I live in Belgium now, and while we have one of the highest marginal tax rates in the EU, professional services — everything from lawyers to plumbers — are much cheaper than the same services in the US. Sometimes this is due to the endemic practice of “zwart werk” — a lot of contractors will work off the books at a lower rate, to the point where tax evasion is considered the Belgian national sport — but even when everything’s done on the up-and-up, it’s still cheaper. My hypothesis is that when you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to eat or pay your mortgage if for some reason you can’t work for a time, you don’t have to build up as much of a buffer and can therefore price your services more competitively.

  • Lese

    I’m kind of ambivalent on the whole public funding of NPR thing, but have to point out too that the not-quite-true rhetoric exists on their side as well. During all the pledge drives lately I’ve been hearing that Congress might cut all subsidies to public broadcasting, and obviously if people don’t pledge then PBS will dry up and blow away. Then I hear the numbers and it turns out that PBS gets around 1% of its money from Congress…..

  • Matri

    Let me guess: Not one word about cutting the bloated military budget,

    The Rude Pundit says the military gets an additional $5 billion.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Even before this push to cut NPR funding reached media-buzz status, I remember seeing a car last fall with a bumper sticker that said, “End liberal propaganda! Defund NPR!”

    Whether their appreciation of the budget is true or not, it is something that they desperately want to be true. As we have been over many times here, they want to live in a world where they are fighting against Other boogymen trying to take away their freedoms, and they are inclined to believe that if only those Others could be defeated, the world could finally be happy.

    Presumably, they are unwilling to accept that they are the ones making themselves unhappy.

  • Anonymous

    I spend a lot of time looking at and working with (UK) government accounts for the day job, and it’s frighteningly easy to start thinking of millions as small change, and thousands as utterly negligable.

    The difficulty-of-imagining-really-big-numbers problem must affect decision makers as well, even as they take advantage of it for propaganda purposes. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the people puffing up the $506m for the press are happy to do so partly because it’s such a small amount in context. They’re used to dealing with accounts where $506m is below materiality, where a suspected error of that amount could be safely ignored because it makes up such a tiny fragment of the whole. I bet it’s easy to start thinking that cutting $506m can’t hurt anyone, and to forget that what might be nothing in the context of the whole budget is a vital lifeline to smaller organisations and the individuals who rely on them.

    Not ruling out malice or other types of stupidity as a motive, mind you, just speculating that perhaps it’s easier to act on them if you regard the whole fuss as being over chickenfeed.

  • Anonymous

    I spend a lot of time looking at and working with (UK) government accounts for the day job, and it’s frighteningly easy to start thinking of millions as small change, and thousands as utterly negligable.

    The difficulty-of-imagining-really-big-numbers problem must affect decision makers as well, even as they take advantage of it for propaganda purposes. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the people puffing up the $506m for the press are happy to do so partly because it’s such a small amount in context. They’re used to dealing with accounts where $506m is below materiality, where a suspected error of that amount could be safely ignored because it makes up such a tiny fragment of the whole. I bet it’s easy to start thinking that cutting $506m can’t hurt anyone, and to forget that what might be nothing in the context of the whole budget is a vital lifeline to smaller organisations and the individuals who rely on them.

    Not ruling out malice or other types of stupidity as a motive, mind you, just speculating that perhaps it’s easier to act on them if you regard the whole fuss as being over chickenfeed.

  • Anonymous

    My boyfriend held similar misconceptions about them until recently. A not often touted fact is that some PPs also do basic men’s health, and the one in our area happens to be one of them.

    I dragged him there when he started having a certain health issue (No icky details, I promise). They worked with him as much as they could on payment, and treated him MUCH better than he expected to get.

    He walked out of the situation with a whole new opinion on them.

  • Froborr

    I spend a lot of time looking at and working with (UK) government accounts for the day job, and it’s frighteningly easy to start thinking of millions as small change, and thousands as utterly negligable.

    There’s a great West Wing episode about this, where a Republican Congressman is holding up some bill or another, and he wants $100,000 for an official NIH study on the healing power of prayer in exchange for letting the bill go through.

    Throughout the episode, there’s a running gag of “He wants a hundred thousand for–” “You mean a hundred million.” “No, a hundred THOUSAND…”

    And the whole debate of “It’s small change, let him have it,” vs. concerns about principle and precedent. I don’t remember how they resolve it in the end.

  • Froborr

    Actually, now that I’m trying harder to remember it I think it wasn’t all that complex. Your welfare (which was a straight-up check, no food stamps or anything like that) dropped by an amount equal to your job income, and then the -50% tax kicked in. So, for example, if you got a job paying $1,000 a year, your welfare dropped by $1,000 per year, but the -50% tax meant your total income went up by $500.

  • Anonymous

    I think that our media is failing us, and that’s a huge part of this problem. Politicians tend to say whatever they have to to get reelected. It’s not surprising that some of them will distort facts and outright lie to make the public like them. And the reason we have freedom of the press is because we need them to be a check on politicians. We need reporters explaining just how the budget really breaks down, and how much is being spent on everything, and they need to do this thoroughly. Some journalists try to do this, but not enough of them and they don’t go thorough enough.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. Nobody likes to bring up the issue of taxes. But there are two sides to this problem, and it doesn’t matter how far we cut spending if we don’t increase revenues. And most of the cuts that Republicans want will decrease revenue in the long run because they will exacerbate unemployment. But it looks good on paper and they can say they cut as much as possible, without actually doing anything to actually help the situation.

  • LL

    People, people: the broadcast media is far too busy covering the royal wedding, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, and also repeating the tweets and emails that their viewers send them, to tell us about the lies our elected representatives are disseminating. They only have 24 hours a day to fill, they can’t waste a second of it on actual news that might be relevant to our lives.

  • muteKi

    As I’ve mentioned before, if I don’t go to CNN, where will I go to find out what’s the current set of hot topics on Twitter?

    Oh, right, Twitter itself. CNN has gotten really stupid lately.

  • Anonymous

    Several lawmakers are porposing that the IRS issue receipts showing where our tax dollars go. I think I should contact them and include Greg’s suggestion: also divide each line item by the # of US citizens, so people know what how much money is going to each item per person.

  • Anonymous

    Only PBS produces quality programs for kids in the kindergarten through 3rd grade range.

    My first reply got eaten somehow, but the conservative argument goes like this: if Sesame Street is so great, then it should be able to make a profit on its own without suckling at the taxpayers’ teat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Blotzphoto Louis Doench

    “Then I hear the numbers and it turns out that PBS gets around 1% of its money from Congress….. ”
    Planet Money did an entire podcast asking about public funding for NPR etc. One thing overlooked in that 1% is the proportion per station. A lot of public radio stations in small town or outlying areas are much more dependent on federal funding than urban stations.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, F that! I also like PBS kids’ shows because they don’t innundate my kid with commercials for stuff that she then starts begging me to buy.

    And I suspect the reason why the commerical kids’ stations go from preschool to ‘tween programs is because the preschoolers are home during the day. When the school age kids come home from school, the ‘tweens have more independence (and therefore possibly more buying power, or ability to pressure their parents, as well as more ability to dominate the remote) than the K-3rd graders, so the stations switch to catering to them.

  • ako

    I knew they did some dispensing of birth control and treatment of STDs, but didn’t realize the extent of these services, and I had no idea they performed other health services for women as well as cancer screening and prevention. I’ve grown more and more impressed by all the PP does for women’s health.

    When I was unemployed, the only health care I could get with any regularity was the government-funded women’s health care at Planned Parenthood for low-income people. They had staff dedicated to sorting out the forms to make it as easy as possible, they provided exams and several birth control options for no cost if your income was below a certain level (and I had practically none), and they did it all politely and respectfully.

    That particular clinic didn’t actually provide abortions, just referrals to a doctor who was set up to do them (there was a doctor in town who’d perform them at his clinic). The same clinic also went to my high school to work on the sex education program and help train peer educators so it was factually accurate and QUILTBAG inclusive. So I wasn’t terribly surprised at the statistics on Planned Parenthood, and was surprised that most people didn’t know about this kind of thing.

  • Hawker40

    “Everything can’t be measured in profits.”

    Liked for this simple truth.

  • MaryKaye

    Note the 10% for “other womens’ health issues”.

    Three years ago I started bleeding and didn’t stop; I bled every day for 27 days and was at the point of physical collapse. A dedicated state-funded gynecologist finally found a solution that didn’t involve taking out my uterus, bless her heart. If I had not been able to afford that care I would be dead now. *That* is “other womens’ health issues”: making sure women don’t bleed to death. Three times as much funding as for abortion. That’s a lot of women.

    (Also, the solution was a progesterone-releasing IUD. I didn’t need it for birth control, but without research and funding into birth control it wouldn’t have been there, and I would have needed a hysterectomy. Thank you, birth control researchers.)

  • Reader

    How about you reread that. He did say it’s 0.00014, which is 0.014%.

  • Anonymous

    Also under that 10% of “other:”

    The surgery that finally stopped ten years of constant, increasing pain. Not removed the cause – it’ll be back, damn its eyes – but stopped the pain and gave me my life back.

    I nearly fainted from sheer agony three times in the two weeks leading up to that surgery. I felt better, unmedicated surgical pain and all, the day AFTER than I had the day BEFORE. (I have a high pain tolerance, out of necessity. Still, I had to laugh at the “oh my gosh, surgical pain is the WORST EVER” from the docs, because.. no. It’s nothing to sneeze at, for sure, but… no.)

    Mine wasn’t through Planned Parenthood, but this is the kind of thing they’re talking about cutting.

    This is why I get ragey when people say “oh, it’s just a women’s issue.” Oh, never mind that woman in pain. Never mind that other one who might bleed to death left alone. Never mind this one who deals with constant, debilitating infection. Just women’s issues.

    On to talking about the important people.

  • cyllan

    Yup. When I was a broke, unemployed, not-quite-college student, Planned Parenthood was the only place that was willing to give me a check-up, provide me birth-control pills (for cheap!) and generally make sure that I wasn’t at risk of major medical issues. Luckily for me, I was a healthy 19 – 23 year old, but a lot of women aren’t.

    And you can be damned sure that if I had gotten pregnant when I was 19, Planned Parenthood would have been there for me then too — when no one else would have been. I would gladly pay higher taxes now to keep them afloat and useful.

  • Art

    This may not be where to post so I apologize up front. What I see are reality based programs making a tangible difference in tangible people’s lives. A tangible difference can be pointed to (date, time, circumstance). A tangible person has a name and an identity. What I’d like to see is the budget discussion lose it’s comfortable abstractions and enter a tangible world. It would make the age old machinations and lies harder to perpetrate. It is because of this that I keep asking for a tangible, understandable, real object based demonstration of 1 million. Now, of course, we also need a real, object based, demonstration of .00014. Until then, everyone gets a free pass on budget numbers. I just keep thinking that 14 million unemployed is like, maybe 2 complete New York Cities, and 260,000 is like a couple of upstate cities like Albany and Buffalo thrown together. So, I guess, I can ask why we are dickering with tax breaks (or not) and sating nothing about job creation and saving lives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1390930332 Orion Moony

    Yes, well, John Kyl enjoys a tasty newborn kitten casserole garnished with the tears of newborns for dinner every night.

    (Not intended to be a factual statement.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    Don’t their kids watch Sesame Street? Arthur? Curious George?

    Their kids have a Multi-DVD switching system with the complete VeggieTales series in it, on continuous repeat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    By process of endless repetition, the rethuglicans have hypnotized a large number of americans to believe that tax cuts = job creation, no matter who the tax cuts are going to or if they’re at all related in any way to the creation of jobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    By process of endless repetition, the rethuglicans have hypnotized a large number of americans to believe that tax cuts = job creation, no matter who the tax cuts are going to or if they’re at all related in any way to the creation of jobs.

  • P J Evans

    I know someone who got a vasectomy at PP. It’s an outpatient procedure (although the person getting one should have an icepack available, and a backup driver).


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