in ancient Athens, Thucydides tells us, they put aside a sum of talents in gold and silver for the use of the army and the navy, and for the defense of the city of Athens. It was treason to suggest that it be spent for any other purpose, and the penalty was death.
They also decided to set aside and keep intact a special fund of 1,000 talents from the money in the Acropolis. The expenses of the war were to be paid out of other funds, and the death penalty was laid down for anyone who should suggest or should put to the vote any proposal for using this money in any other way except to defend the city in the case of their enemies coming to attack them with a fleet by sea. To go with this money they set aside a special fleet of 100 triremes, the best ones of each year, with their captains. These, too, were only to be used in the same way as the money and to meet the same danger, if it should ever arise.
—Book 2, paragraph 24, The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides.
The question is, is this $700 billion (actually, it merely says the US gov’t can only hold $700 billion at any one time, not that there’s a limit on how much it can spend) part of the 1000 talents set aside for the defense of the state, or the 1000 talents set aside for prosecuting the war, or the 1000 talents set aside for infrastructure/rebuilding the Acropolis?
Oh, right. We’re proposing to spend it on paychecks for companies that have misbehaved over the last 20 years.