The Cost of a Private Bill (Hint, It’s $200)

The Cost of a Private Bill (Hint, It’s $200)

Well, we know that private bills are a messy business. They are time consuming, often silly, and can come across as quite political. I found this 1942 draft bill to contain some humorous (or disparaging) information on the private bill system. In a letter from FDR to the 77th Congress:

“It is estimated that the expenses of the executive and legislative branches in considering the claims of bills of each Congress, excluding salaries of Congressmen, are in the neighborhood of $125,000; that the printing costs alone of the claim bills which fail to become law are almost $19,000 per Congress; and that it costs almost $200 to pass a single bill. When it is considered that some claim bills are enacted in amounts much less than $200, the wisdom of our present procedure is questionable.”

By the way, “200 dollars in 1942 had the same buying power as 2839.35 current dollars” according to the first google result for Historical Currency Converter.

Also interesting:

In 2010, the relative worth of $125,000.00 from 1942 is:

$1,670,000.00 using the Consumer Price Index
$1,390,000.00 using the GDP deflator
$3,080,000.00 using the value of consumer bundle
$3,060,000.00 using the unskilled wage
$3,840,000.00 using the Production Worker Compensation
$4,880,000.00 using the nominal GDP per capita
$11,200,000.00 using the relative share of GDP

according to Measuring Worth. I make exactly zero claims as to the veracity or meaning of these numbers. They are for humor only (you know, like, laughing at the cost of a penny).

Image credit to this site. But, of course, (c) Hasbro.

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Posted on October 30, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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