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The Unbearable Burden of Burgeoning Billions

January 7th, 2010 No comments

Watching our federal government spend money reminds me of playing the game of LIFE. I liked LIFE as opposed to Monopoly because the denominations were larger. While Monopoly had its $1oo bills, LIFE had $100,000 bills. Growing up in a pretty normal middle-class family, it was kind of fun holding on to a stack of mega-bills. Unfortunately, it was all a game.

What is more unfortunate is the way our federal government is spending OUR money like it was play money. The typical hard working American finds it hard to grasp the enormous volumes of dollars the government spends with each new program. Like the game of LIFE, the government’s approach is, “Why spend millions when you can spend billions?”

To give the average taxpayer a better grasp of just how much a billion dollars really is, the Heritage Foundation provided the following illustrations. Beware -your mind is about to be blown!

  • One billion seconds ago it was 1978
  • One billion minutes ago was 107 A.D.
  • One billion hours ago our ancestors lived in the Stone Age.
  • One billion days ago no-one walked on two feet
  • One billion dollars ago was only 2 hours and 30 minutes at the rate the U.S. government has been spending it.

Imagine, every 2 and a half hours, Congress spends another one billion dollars of taxpayer’s money.

Or, think of how much Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu asked the Federal Government (i.e. taxpayers) for to rebuild New Orleans in 2005. Their legislation requested $250 billion for this modest project. That means:

  • Every man, woman, or child residing in New Orleans could be given $549,616 for $250 billion.
  • Every homeowner in New Orleans could be given $1,162,299 for $250 billion.
  • Every four people could be given $2,198,464.

Even when adjusted for inflation, $250 billion dollars is more than the state of Louisiana cost when purchased during the Jefferson administration. It is one fourth of a trillion dollars.

Of course, a billion here and a billion there pretty soon adds up to trillions of real money. If Members of Congress who spend our hard earned tax dollars have little understanding of how large a billion is, imagine how little they grasp the enormous sum of just one trillion dollars. That’s 1,000 times more than a billion, and Congress this last year authorized trillions of debt-financed outlays for the next several years.

Can you say, “TEA PARTY TIME!” I say it’s time for new leadership. Let’s become the answer to our nation’s problems.