“There is no shame in being the party of no,” former Alaskan governor and future television documentarian Sarah Palin told an adoring audience at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans last Friday. That, however, is a matter of debate. Newt Gingrich, for example, says he would prefer to be a member of “the party of yes.” Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal thinks differently. He wants to be part of the party of “hell, no.” There is time for the Republican leadership to be having this debate because, well, they’re not doing much else.
Obstructing their Democratic rivals’ every move may yet prove to have been an ingenious gambit on the part of congressional Republicans, but there is no question that it carries a cost. With Tax Day upon us, we got to thinking: Just how much money are taxpayers spending on the Republican Party’s commitment to doing exactly nothing? How much would Americans have saved if the Party of Lincoln’s emissaries to the 111th Congress had simply mailed a one-page note to Democrats on January 3, 2009, inscribed with a single word—“no”?
Republicans continue to pull down their taxpayer-funded salaries, enjoy their taxpayer-sponsored benefits, and accept tax-free donations to think tanks. What has all of their subsidized inactivity cost the nation? Many of the answers can be found in the congressional budget, but we decided to do the math for you.*
RTFA. The details are there.
Grand total cost to the American taxpayer for the Republican “NO” = $1.34 billion.