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How Big Is The “Stimulus?”

Saturday, February 7, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Part of the problem with this debate is the absolutely gargantuan size of the stimulus. Stunned by the numbers rolling around, we are losing sight of the size of the mountain of cash being readied for shipment from the printers to a million different destinations.

This struck me as I read through Jonathan Schanzer’s “The Iranian Gambit in Gaza” from the February issue of Commentary. (And what an issue it is –more on that below.)

Schanzer recounts the years-long effort by Tehran’s mullahs to control the Hamas through funding, and notes an al-Jazeera report that “‘Iran is known to have given $120 million to Hamas’ over the past three years,” and that “[d]uring a 2006 visit to Tehran by Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh, Iran pledged $250 million in aid to compensate for the Western boycott” of Gaza.

The mullahs push into Gaza is huge and troubling, but at least it helps us by comparison to understand the scale of the porkapalooza underway in D.C. Their investment of a quarter billion in Hamas is meant to alarm, and it does. It is a huge amount of meddling.

And it is nothing compared to the print-run about to get underway at Treasury.

Commentary has always been an important read, but in the years ahead it will become as crucial as it was during the Carter years. See, for one other example among many, Jonathan Foreman’s “India’s Time of Reckoning” if you want a sober assessment of the difficulties ahead for the Obama Administration.

And for sheer pleasure, read Joseph Epstein’s poignant and very wise “The Love Song of A. Jerome Minkoff.”

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