Gut Rumbles

February 21, 2006

lotsa money

Somebody check my math here. (I'm an English Major--- I don't do math.) I read this post and thought about something I suspected long ago: sometimes, numbers are so big that they are beyond our comprehension. Especially when those numbers represent DOLLARS. We lack the perspective to really understand the pile of money we're talking about.

Let's run some numbers. The writer says that the federal government spends $87,836 per second, according to the latest budget. Round to $88,000 and multiply by 60: I get $5,280,000 per minute. If I transmogrify that number times 60, I conjure up $316,800,000 per hour.

Here's where the numbers become unfathomable. A college graduate can expect to earn $2.1 million in his (or her) entire life. Those without a degree tend to earn only HALF that much.

Most people can kinda get a handle on $5,280,000; they can imagine what it would look like, they can think of ways to spend it, and they can comprehend that 5.3 MILLION DOLLARS is a shitpot full of money. But when you get to HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS, you've lost people who think one hundred DOLLARS is a fair amount of cash, a thousand is a bunch, and a million is a fortune. And that's damn near everybody.

So, when you apply advanced mathematics by pushing buttons on a calculator, you discover that at $316.8 million per hour, a 24-hour day comes out of the machine to total...$... damnifiknow. My calculator doesn't count that high, but I believe that the number is somewhere close to FOUR BILLION DOLLARS per day.

If you took that much in $1 bills and laid them end to end, they'd reach... who knows? A LONG got-dam way, that's for sure. And here's where the dollars stop meaning anything because the number becomes unreal. NOBODY can visualize that much money laying in a pile somewhere. But our federal government spends that sum every day, day after day. The mind simply boggles.

Don't forget that we also have state and local governments doing the same thing, just on a smaller scale. That's LOTSA money.

Think about that fact the next time they carp about needing more.


You want a real mind boggler? This last year alone the US engaged in contracts for Social Security and Medicare at values over 3,000,000,000.00. Of course, because the government uses cash accounting this was not noted.

Posted by: Jordan on February 21, 2006 12:19 PM

Whoops, make that 3,000,000,000,000.00

Posted by: Jordan on February 21, 2006 12:20 PM

Thanks for that post Rob, the site you link is right on with respect to GW. His decisions are costing us lots now and will continue to cost us in the future.

Posted by: Mary Chestnut on February 21, 2006 01:44 PM

To paraphrase Ronaldo Magnus, (potus #40),
"gummit isn't the solution, gummit is the problem."

Why can't one level of gummit ever budget their dept. for the same or less than the year prior? The economy has made big gains in productivity, except when it comes to the gummit. The locals have been getting fat with big "grants" for all kinds of extra and unnecessary bells and whistles from DHS. When the feds cutback, and they will, the locals will be screaming just as they are beginning to do.

Remember Clinton's 100,000 cops? The feds paid for them for just a few years, now who's picking up the tab? Yup, the local taxpayers.

Local property taxes are doubling, the sales tax is pushing it's way to 8% and beyond, and there's no end in sight. All brought to you by the same folks that run the post office and the local dmv.

Posted by: walt on February 21, 2006 04:08 PM

Don't forget; much of that largess they spread is BORROWED"
As does't exist...might not ever exist when you get right down to it.

We are the ones being #$%ed and fed beans.

Posted by: Wes Jackson on February 21, 2006 04:40 PM
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