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Opinion, By Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Curmudgeon quotes former [U.S.] Senator Everett Dirksen (R-Ill): “A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” And again: “A billion here, a billion there, a billion somewhere else, three to five billion for public works. You haven't got any budget balance left.”

The Curmudgeon knows these quotes are from fifty or so years ago, and that most people in the U.S. don’t think of billions as being very important nowadays; we’re into trillions or quadrillions (or perhaps Brazillions). Nevertheless, the . . .

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