Normally, if I were to contemplate resorting to bribery to change someone's decision, I would have to face two hurdles. First, of course, I would face legal consequences because in many contexts., bribery is illegal. Second, I would have to consider the cost -- is the price being demanded worth it. After all, it makes little sense to spend a million dollars to bribe someone to make a decision worth a hundred thousand dollars to me.
But, unfortunately, neither of these problems exist when Congressional leadership seeks to bribe recalcitrant lawmakers to vote their way. Bribery in this context is not illegal, its just "horsetrading." And the cost is meaningless, because folks like Nancy Pelosi do not bear the cost of the bribe, taxpayers do.
It is totally clear to me that Obama and Pelosi will spend any amount of money to pass their key legislative initiatives. In the case of Waxman-Markey, the marginal price per vote turned out to be about $3.5 billion. But they didn't even blink at paying this. That is why I fear that some horrible form of health care "reform" may actually pass. If it does, the marginal cost per vote may be higher, but I don't think our leaders care.