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Number of the Day

Like Goldilocks in her quest for a perfect bed, I sometimes have a hard time finding something in just the right size. But because I’m a policy wonk, not a little girl breaking into a house owned by bears, my dilemma today concerns the appropriate level of deficit spending. Over the past few days, Republicans have said a $34 billion unemployment-benefits bill is too big to finance with deficits. But what policy's size is just right? Well, according to 39 senators, it’s repealing the estate tax, which carries a cost:

About 15 times larger

Yesterday, the Senate voted 39-59 against repealing the estate tax. But all Republicans present, except for three, and another two Democrats voted in favor of repealing the estate tax altogether. As I noted yesterday, doing so would cost over $500 billion in the next 10 years. But that’s not too much money to finance with the deficit. Confused? Here’s a graph to make things clear: