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Unlucky Numbers

February 14, 2010

When I read this sentence in a smart story by Irwin Stelzer, the number in brackets behind the word “China” looked familiar:

[President Obama] still hopes that China ($789 billion), which has surpassed Japan ($769 billion) as our biggest lender (Britain is third at $277 billion), will allow its currency to appreciate by a meaningful amount […].

Where had the French Cowboy seen something similar before? Ah, now I remember! It was here (emphasis mine):

To put it kindly, the stimulus package that President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rushed through Congress at the beginning of his presidency has been a flop. It is not just that the $789 billion package has not had the effect the White House promised it would; it’s that it may actually have been counterproductive, actually lengthening the recession by effectively taking money out of the private economy, where it could have been used to create jobs and for investment purposes. Instead it has been parceled out by the government, which has been unable to track where it has gone or what impact it has really had on job creation. And that has led to any number of fallacious statements by senior administration officials about jobs “created or saved.”

So the unpopular, debt-amassing, government-growing, Reid-Pelosi-Obama stimulus package has cost the same amount of money as the US owes red China. Funny when you think about it. Albeit in a tragic way.

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