Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fun with numbers..

The national debt is fast approaching $12 trillion dollars. Of course, that is what's already on the books. Estimates for the governments unfunded liabilities are upwards of 60 or 70 trillion. I think most people have an understanding of a million, and even a billion, but a trillion tends to get out of our grasp. I heard an explanation once that in terms of time, one million seconds equals 11 days, while a billion seconds equals 32 years, but a trillion seconds equals 317 centuries.

Like I said, a trillion can be hard to get your head around.

It just figures that interest on a trillion dollars would be a lot of money, too. So would the interest on 12 trillion dollars. If you want to understand how much, consider that 40% of all of the individual income tax paid in the United States goes just to pay the interest on that debt. Another way to look at it, all of the individual income taxes paid by all of the people west of the Mississippi River go just to pay the interest on the national debt.

One of the reasons we have so much debt is because the government spends more than it takes in. Every year. This year the deficit will be 1.4 trillion dollars.

There is that "trillion" word again.

I read a good explanation the other day about how much 1.4 trillion dollars really is. It's enough that the 45 million school children in this country, in grades 1 through 12, could all attend the private Sidwell Friends School, where President Obama's daughters attend, at a cost of $30,000.00 per year.

The government says it will hold the deficit to 1.4 trillion dollars in 2010, also.

But I'm not counting on it.

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