I've been listening to C-SPAN this morning, and as might be expected there's a lot of fretting about the 2010 fiscal year budget, the one that will go into effect for the federal government on October 1 of this year. There have been the usual rightwing wackaloons calling in, doing their figurative foaming at the mouth about how the Obama administration isn't doing anything for the average American. A particular target of derision was the "$14 more per pay period," an amount of money per individual that the wackaloons seem to find particularly amusing. As one caller said, "A package of chicken breasts they wouldn't have bought otherwise. Big deal."
I loved the response from Democratic congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, which was basically, yes, it is a big deal. If you've been getting by on peanut butter and Top Ramen and you now have a chance to buy something more substantial for a meal or two for your family, it does make a difference. He did a nice job of politely reaming the callers who mocked the small amount as being trivial and of no consequence. He also pointed out that a number of items that the Republicans are now using as talking points to disparage the budget are items that were inserted by Republicans to begin with, including a good number of the much maligned "earmarks."
It hit me (again) just how unbelievably arrogant, ignorant, and smug the rightwing tinfoil hat crowd is.
It also hit me that as that approximately $14 per person starts hitting paychecks, convincing folks that Obama isn't doing anything for them is going to get a little harder.