Victims' Rights Caucus



Mr. Speaker, we hear a lot about the economy, as we should, but I would like to focus on the cost of all of this money that the government says it needs to spend. The front page of today's USA Today is headlined, ``Trillions Aimed At Financial Recovery,'' and here we see a photograph of the Treasury Secretary, Mr. Geithner, scratching his head as he is talking to Members of Congress when he testified yesterday.

Now we hear about the billions spent for this program and the trillions spent for this program all in the name of helping the economy. I would like to focus on the cost of all of this. If you add up all of the bailout packages from last year, the so-called stimulus packages, and the bills yet to be passed but promised to be passed this year, plus the debt that it will cost Americans yet to be born, it is $9,700,000,000,000.Now that is the biggest number I have ever seen in my life. And $9 billion, it is hard to relate to what 9 billion or $9,700,000,000,000 is. Well, let's try to focus on how much that really is in terms maybe we can understand. If you add up all of the major wars that the United States has been involved in since we were a country, and you put 2009 dollars to those figures, this amount of money still would not cover the cost of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the War Between the States, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Iraqi wars and the Afghanistan wars. We would still have enough money left over in 2009 dollars to pay for the Louisiana Purchase in 2009 dollars, the Gadsden Purchase in 2009 dollars, and Alaska in 2009 dollars with money still left over. Now that is a lot of money.

It has been estimated also that this amount of money would pay for 90 percent of all of the home mortgages in the whole United States. Now we're talking about real money. Or looking at it another way, if you divided this money up with all the people on the face of the Earth, each one of them would get about $1,500. That is a lot of money. And yet, this is the amount of money we are going to try to spend all in the name of saving the economy and saving the country.

I question, first of all, whether or not it will work. But more importantly, where are we going to get the money? We don't have the money. So we are going to have to borrow the money. And probably we will borrow the money from our good friends over in China. Oh, they're ready to lend us money and let Americans pay interest on it.

The Congressional Budget Office has done some work, it hasn't been publicized much, about the new stimulus bill, the $835 billion bill that just passed the Senate that is coming back to the House in a conference bill maybe tomorrow, Friday or whatever. And they said even if you spend that money, that is not going to help the economy. So now we've got two problems. One, we don't have the money. And the stimulus bill may not even help the economy.

This country has done the stimulus bill thing before. This is not the first stimulus bill. It was tried right after World War II. In fact, we now have a total of eight stimulus bills that one Congress or another has passed all in the name of trying to stimulate the economy.

And history has shown, basically, they just didn't work. They weren't as effective as they were expected to be. So, although we have philosophical differences between this side and the other side about how to help the economy, I would submit maybe we need to st