April 3rd, 2009

Congress Called… Please Send in Your $30,635.00 Check

Congress has just approved a new $3.6 TRILLION dollar budget for fiscal 2010. This will include $1.75 trillion in deficit spending according to independent analysts (though House Democrats assert the deficit will only be $1.2 trillion). The budget was approved on party lines. No Republicans voted for the budget. In the Senate, the budget was approved 55-43, while in the House of Representatives the vote was was 233-196, with 20 Democrats dissenting.

With the U.S. population estimated at 305,529,237 as of 1/1/2009, (U.S. Census Bureau data), President Obama’s $3.6 TRILLION budget represents a historically unprecedented level of spending (and borrowing) per capita. Check out them zeros: $3,600,000,000,000.00!

The 2010 Federal Budget works out to $11,783.00 for every man, woman, and child in the United States, and represents $30,635.00 per household. This figure ($30,635) is 61% of the median American household income.*

A Trillion Here, a Trillion There…
For many Americans, the scale of the numbers being tossed around by Washington politicos is hard to comprehend. To put things in perspective, PageTutor.com has created a handy visualization of what one trillion dollars would look like, in stacked $100.00 bills. Here, for starters, is a mere $100,000,000:

trillion dollars

The image below shows one Trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) in stacked $100.00 bills. (Pallets are double-tiered). To give you a sense of scale, the little red figure in the lower left corner is a human, the same guy in the picture above. Is your mind sufficiently boggled now?

trillion dollars

How Much is a Trillion?
Here are some other interesting Trillion-dollar calculations, offered by Doug Furton, a physics Professor at Grand Valley State University:

• 1 trillion dollar bills stitched together end to end in a line would stretch about 94 million miles — a bit more than the distance from earth to the sun.

• 1 trillion dollar bills stitched together to form a quilt would cover an area about the size of the state of Connecticut.

• If we spent $1.00 every second, it would take 32,000 YEARS to spend 1 trillion dollars.

How about repaying the $1.75 trillion dollars Congress intends to borrow in fiscal 2010? Think that will be easy? Think again. Prof. Furton explains: “If we borrowed 1 trillion dollars at 6% APR with terms similar to a conventional home loan the debt would accumulate interest at a rate of $1929 per second. If we paid the debt off at the rate of $2000 per second we could discharge it in about 56 years — a working lifetime. By the end of this massive loan we would have paid a total of nearly 3.5 trillion dollars, putting a tidy 2.5 trillion dollars in the coffers of whoever made us the loan”.

*According to the Census Bureau, the average American Household size is 2.6 persons. U.S. Median Household Income is $50,233.00, last officially calculated in 2007.

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