While I certainly agree with him in principle, I think he overdoes it a little bit with the details. His version of the list the teenager gives to her mom is as follows:
In this scenario, the teenager is attempting to con her mom into spending $2904 to "fix her car," when in reality only $1575 of that is necessary. The remaining $1329, or about 45%, is her "wish list."
- Engine: $1,140
- Brakes: $155
- Tires: $280
- New Dress: $70
- Nintendo Wii: $250
- Four Wine Glasses: $44
- HDTV for my Room: $880
- Ceramic Flat Hair Iron: $85
I am not an expert on what's in the bill that's being debated right now, but CNN.com has a list of items apparently identified by Republican leaders as "wasteful." The trouble is that those items total "only" about $19.1 billion in a package with a total cost of nearly $900 billion. Even assuming the package was only $800 billion, the wasteful spending identified is only about 2.4% of the total.
Put another way, if the teenager's total bill was still $2904, the "wish list" items would cost less than $70.
To be perfectly clear, I still think the whole thing's a load of crap. I just think a little perspective is in order.