More than a generation ago, when federal budgets and deficits were much lower than they now are, the late Senator Everett Dirkson, of Illinois, said during the debate on an appropriations bill, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon it adds up to real money.”

Yet, Sandoval County Commissioners have been passing out Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) to Intel as if it they were Halloween candies.  The amounts involved are so huge that few people can appreciate the magnitude of these giveaways.  Consider the following:

If we counted a dollar each second, 24 hours per day, every day of the year, it would take nearly 32 years to count a billion dollars.

If we laid a billion dollars end to end, they would stretch more than 94,000 miles, or nearly four times around the earth at the equator.

Nevertheless, the County Commissioners of Sandoval County, one of New Mexico’s poorest counties, recently approved a $16 billion industrial revenue bond for Intel, one of the world’s wealthiest corporations.

If we add in the previous $10 billion IRB given to Intel, the total of $26 billion would circle the Earth at the equator nearly one hundred times.  These 26 billion dollars also would extend more than ten times the distance separating the Earth and the moon.

The MSNBC website ( recently advised investors to avoid Intel stock, citing Intel’s 1) overcapacity, 2) excess inventory, and 3) competition of a superior 64-bit chip from AMD, their competitor.  Based on this information, Intel doesn’t even need Mr. Ely’s generous gift (of other people’s money).  This information adds still another layer to Ely’s betrayal of the taxpayers who must ultimately pay for his irresponsible actions.