A million here and a million there, said Sen. Everett Dirksen, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
The late senator was talking about spending, but he could just as easily have been talking about the hands out for the "stimulus" plan promised by incoming Obama adminstration.
The infrastructure plan, billed as an investment in the nation's transportation network, the largest since President Eisenhower kick-started the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, is part of a broader, $1 trillion incentive plan to provide tax relief to middle-class families, help states cover Medicaid costs and create up to 3 million new jobs.
And everyone wants a piece of the pie. Ohio's Gov. Ted Strickland, who's expected to unveil his plan to fix Ohio school funding Jan. 28, is one of five Democratic governors who've banded together to seek a piece of the pie, including $250 billion for education that's just one part of a two-year plan about twice the size of what the Obama team and congressional leaders have been talking about.
Local environmental groups have petitioned for funding for a Great Lakes cleanup.
It's clear to us priorities will have to be set in saying yes or no to each outstretched hand. One priority would certainly be the Great Lakes, which are of more than regional importance as a source of water, as a source of recreational and tourist income, and as a transportation network.