In a CBS Face the Nation interview on Feb. 1, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky, sought to put the proposed economic stimulus bill into some sobering perspective.
"You know, this is huge money," McConnell said. "This is — someone said the other day that, if you started the day Jesus Christ was born and spent $1 million every day since then, you still wouldn’t have spent $1 trillion.”
The bill isn't that expensive yet — the House version is estimated at $819 billion — but the Senate is expected to add new programs and additional tax cuts that could increase the cost significantly. Both chambers are expected to keep the total pricetag under $1 trillion.
We'll save you from counting zeros on your online calculator and give you our quick and dirty assessment of whether his analogy is right.
First, a starting point. Biblical scholars may quibble about the actual birth date of Jesus Christ, but we're going to go with the fairly commonly accepted theory that it was around 4 B.C. That's right, it would mean Christ was actually born "Before Christ."
Add that to Anno Domini time, and you come to 2012 years since the birth of Christ.
So here goes our math: 2,012 times 365 (yes, we are aware there are leap years ... don't be like that) times $1,000,000. A: $734 billion (give or take a few hundred million).
The stimulus package is actually short of $1 trillion too, $819 billion. But that's still more than a million bucks a day since the day Jesus was born. We find McConnell's staggering stat to be True.