Here's the answer to that age-old question:
When a tree falls in a forest, and there's nobody around to hear it, it still makes a sound.
Georgia's seven-member Republican delegation to the U.S. House made such an unheard sound this week when they were nearly alone in voting against the economic stimulus package, which passed 385-35.
They stood in front of a runaway train and got flattened.
But we appreciate their statement.
Fact is, even without the stimulus bill, the federal government will be operating about $250 billion in the red this year. With the $150 billion stimulus bill, the deficit will climb to nearly $400 billion -- the second-highest deficit in U.S. history, surpassed only the $413 billion deficit in 2004.
Putting $600 in most taxpayers' wallets will help some -- but it will mostly be a psychological boost. While it might help prevent or shorten a recession, it will also put our children and grandchildren deeper in debt.
Nobody captured it quite like GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who joked that we'll be borrowing money from China so American consumers can buy Chinese-made goods.
In truth, we're not borrowing from China or Saudi Arabia or other foreign investors; we're borrowing from our children.
We sure appreciate seven lonely Georgia congressman for standing in opposition to that, and standing on the principle that we've got to stop borrowing from our children.
We don't oppose Congress passing a stimulus bill. They should cut spending to offset the cost, however.
Now the Senate is poised to sweeten the deal even further by adding billions for seniors and for the unemployed. Remember when it was the House that was impulsive and irresponsible, and the Senate had to act as big brother? What the heck happened to that most-deliberative body?
Senators will be foolish to try to add cars to this runaway train of a bill. And they're irresponsible to suggest we aren't dipping far enough into our children's pockets.