Jim Lembke stares confidently at a reading chart.
Missourians won't be getting any federal aid to weatherize their homes in next budget year after four Republican state senators pulled an all-night filibuster that ended around 7 a.m. today.
The senators -- Jim Lembke
of Lemay, Brian Nieves
of Washington, Will Kraus
of Lee's Summit and Rob Schaaf
of St. Joseph -- wanted to send a message of fiscal accountability to Washington, D.C., by returning $41 million of the $465 million in federal stimulus funds slated for Missouri next year.
Instead, the senators brokered a compromise that will return $14 million earmarked to help Missouri residents make their homes more energy efficient. But hey, who doesn't get a bit blurry-eyed after staying up all night reading out of phone books? We can see how the senators may have confused 14 with 41. It's easy enough to do, for even those without mild dyslexia.
"I think the taxpayers of Missouri and our nation lost tonight," Lembke told St. Louis Public Radio
this morning of his all-night fight. "If there is any success out of this, it is that we are sending, and will continue to send, a message to the federal government, 'quit spending money you don't have.'"
Yes, thank you Jim. That $14 million is going to go a looooong way in tackling the nation's $14 trillion debt. We assume you understand the difference between $14,000,000 and $14,000,000,000,000?