A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Running is a mental sport and we are all insane” (4/28)
“Monday must be a man. It comes too quickly” (4/28)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (4/28)
“There’s no more difficult transition than Sunday to Monday” (4/28)
“What do you call a Mexican drowning in mayonnaise?"/"Sinko de Mayo.” (4/28)
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Entry from December 30, 2009
“Throw money at a problem” (Washington reflex)

"Too often our Washington reflex is to discover a problem and then to throw money at it, hoping that somehow it will go away” said Kenneth Keating (1900-1975), the Republican senator from New York, in May 1961. The New York (NY) Times made this a “quote of the day” and one of the quotations of the week; the quotation has been collected in several books. Republicans such as Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon accused Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s of being too eager to throw the taxpayers’ money at problems.

Henry Ford II (1917-1987) had said something similar in April 1948, about throwing money at Europe to solve its problems.


The Free Dictionary
throw money at something
Fig. to try to solve a problem by indiscriminately spending money on it. agency has thrown money at the housing problem, but it has been nothing but a long-term disaster. Don’t just throw money at it.

Wikipedia: Kenneth Keating
Kenneth Barnard Keating (May 18, 1900 Lima, Livingston County, New York - May 5, 1975 New York City), was a United States Representative and a U.S. Senator from New York, and in later life, an appellate judge and a diplomat representing the United States as ambassador to India and later to Israel.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
to throw money at: to attempt to solve (a problem, etc.) by reckless expenditure rather than by a more efficient or prudent approach.
1972 N.Y. Times 15 Dec. 46/4 President Nixon is employing a quite misleading phrase when he states that ‘throwing money at social problems does not solve them’.
1993 N.Y. Times Mag. 28 Nov. 60/1 The group’s very existence was based on the belief that AIDS could be cured quickly if only enough money and effort were thrown at it.

14 April 1948, New York (NY) Times, “Ford Sees Prices Headed Upward,” pg. 45:
He was not pessimistic about the situation in Europe, Mr. Ford said. “But just throwing money at European countries is not the answer to their problem,” he went on. “Sure, they need American dollars, but they need our understanding of their problems, too. We should give them moral leadership.”
(Henry Ford 2d—ed.)

12 May 1961, New York (NY) Times, pg. 31:
Quotation of the Day
“Too often our Washington reflex is to discover a problem and then to throw money at it, hoping that somehow it will go away.”—Senator Keating. [18:7.}

12 May 1961, New York (NY) Times, “3 Senators Score Vote-Fund Set-Up” by David Halberstam, pg. 18:
“Too often our Washington reflex is to discover a problem and then to throw money at it, hoping that somehow it will go away,” he said.
(NY Senator Kenneth Keating, opposing proposed government subsidies for political campaign costs—ed.)

Google Books
30 August 1961, Miami (FL) News, Letters, pg. 10A, col. 5:
I wonder how Mr. Crossman thinks that such liberals as John Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller were born? It is their type of man, who is accustomed to having anything he wants, who thinks that the only way to solve a national problem is to throw money at it and hope it goes away.
ROGER DAVIS, Opa-locka

Google Books
The Great Experiment:
An intimate view of the everyday workings of the Federal Government

By John D. Weaver
Boston, MA: Little, Brown
1965
Pg. 38:
If you can’t solve a problem any other way, throw money at it.
— OLD WASHINGTON SAYING

Google News Archive
25 May 1968, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Reagan Quick With Quips,” pg. 2A, col. 3:
WASHINGTON—Ronald Reagan has become the Bob Hope of politics. He warms up campaign crowds with a fast-paced series of one-line gags—mostly at the expense of the Democrats. Some samples:
(...)
“The Democrats’ way to solve any problem is to throw money at it. Now they’re planning to weatherstrip Alaska.”

FOXNews.com
Obama: ‘We Won’t Just Throw Money at the Problem’
President-elect Obama says his economic recovery plan would put millions of people to work.

AP
Saturday, December 06, 2008
CHICAGO—President-elect Barack Obama said Saturday he’s asked his economic team for a recovery plan that saves or creates more than 2 million jobs, makes public buildings more energy-efficient and invests in the country’s roads and schools.

“We won’t just throw money at the problem,” Obama said in his weekly radio address and Internet video. “We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve—by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, December 30, 2009 • Permalink