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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.
CQ Politics, "Noted and Quoted," Feb. 1, 2009
Bible Studies at the Moorings, The date of Christ's birth
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