I don’t claim to be an expert on government spending, so please correct me if I am interpreting the budget numbers below in the wrong way. But from my home office on this sunny Friday morning, here’s how I see it:

– Proposed bailout of insurance giant AIG by the US government: $85 billion.

– Total spending per major agency in 2008, according to the US Office of Management and Budget (in billions):

  • Education: $57.2
  • Health & Human Services: $71.9
  • Housing & Urban Development: $37.4
  • Energy: $23.9
  • Transportation: $15.5
  • Environmental Protection Agency: $7.5
  • Agriculture: $21.8

President Bush is proposing to spend 1.5 times more on bailing out a poorly-run insurance company than we do on education. No CEO Left Behind.

Think about how conservatives like to moan about welfare spending. Proposed total spending for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in 2009? $236 million. The AIG bailout would be 360 times more than that. So TANF fosters a culture of dependency and helplessness, but corporate bailouts apparently just help out some fellas who’ve had some bad luck.

Seriously unbelievable.