WASHINGTON – Talk about words more costly than gold.
The giant federal budget law that the House passed Wednesday, Senate passed late Thursday and President Barack Obama signed Friday will cost nearly $3 million per word, or if you want to think big, almost $700 million per page.
The law authorizes $1.1 trillion in spending. It is 1,582 pages long. An Internet word counting program said it has 370,445 words, numbers and symbols. So simple math comes up with $2.9 million per word average and $695 million per page average, though different parts of the budget package spend more than other sections.
By comparison, there are only 4,543 words in the U.S. Constitution, before amendments, and 1,458 words in the Declaration of Independence.
Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington spending watchdog, figured that senators spent slightly more than 69 hours before passing the bill, giving them just under two minutes per page to read it.