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A Trillion Dollars is a Lot of Money

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A Trillion Dollars is a Lot of Money

A Trillion Dollars is a Lot of Money
April 30
01:41 2020

Have you noticed that every interview on television generally winds up being a request for money from Uncle Sam?  As can be expected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the granddaddy – ooops, grandmama – of the beggars.  She seems to be incapable of comprehending a number that does not have twelve zeros after it.

We are now approaching our fourth bailout … relief package … stimulus … or whatever you want to call it.  Rather than seeing these spending bills getting smaller and smaller, they are actually getting bigger and bigger by the trillions.  A couple more rounds of trillion-dollar appropriations and we will have spent all the money America has in circulation – about $37 trillion.  We are getting close – as you will see when you check out the National debt below.

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Imagine if you had to borrow 40 percent of every dollar you were spending each month … each year… year after year.  It would be irresponsible … insane … and actually impossible.  But that is what dear old Uncle Sam is doing.

To at least TRY to comprehend the amount of money of which we speak, consider this.  A dollar bill is six inches long.  If you were to place one trillion dollar bills end to end, it would stretch 946,969,697 miles. And who says money does not go far?

Our National Debt will reach approximately $30 trillion dollars by the end of President Trump’s first term in office – 30 times the distance noted above.  The $30 trillion would stretch out for approximately 28 billion miles.   That would mean we could stretch out National Debt dollars to the moon AND BACK approximately 6,000 times.  Whew!

Fortunately, there are a lot of taxpayers in America – not as many as there should be, but a lot.  About 140 million.  To pay off a $30 trillion debt, all of us who pay taxes would have to kick in about $75,000 each – over and above what we are currently paying.

That is actually a comprehensible number.  But you and I do not have to worry about it since our grandkids and their grandkids will have to pay it off – if they can.

On the other hand, should we decided to do the right thing and start paying down the National Debt, it would take some time.  If each taxpayer contributed $1000 each year to debt retirement – over and above what we now pay in taxes — we could wipe out the National Debt in about 25 years – as long as we stopped borrowing billions every year to pay for current government expenses.

That would mean drastic … and I mean drastic … cuts in federal spending.  There could be no such things as “entitlement programs.”  Hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be looking for new jobs.  And all those grants Uncle Sam gives to the states, the cities, and the universities, etc.   Fuhgeddaboutit.

In many ways, our nation’s debt is like the credit card trap.  I will use one of my actual credit cards as an example.  On my latest bill, I owe $1,979.28.  If I pay the minimum, it will take me nine years to pay it off – and my interest paid will be $4,110.  And that is ONLY if I never use the card again in those nine years.  If I keep adding to the balance, I will never pay off the credit card – and eventually, I will be bankrupt.  You just cannot keep accruing debt faster than you are paying it off.

When you consider that the federal budget continues to grow, the borrowing continues to increase, and the National Debt continues to rise. There is virtually no hope of stopping this run-away economic train without incalculable economic disruption.  And if we do not change the trajectory, our progeny will face that … incalculable economic disruption.  It has become a classic damned if we do and damned if we don’t scenario.  The problem is that it is the unborn future Americans who are damned by what we do.

When we look back at this time, the Covid-19 virus may be determined to have been more dangerous to America’s economic welfare than its physical health.  For sure, everything Pelosi and the Democrats offer to pay for are wonderful things to have and to do.  It is just that she is playing a dirty little game for political advantage on the backs of the unborn – taxation without representation of the worst kind.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. lou
    lou May 01, 18:13

    I’m a Democrat and you know what? I do understand money and what it’s worth. I just know life is worth more .

    Reply to this comment
    • thinkr2
      thinkr2 May 01, 19:46

      The total deaths in the US so far this year from ALL causes is running less than the average for the last several years. The response to this virus has been blown all out of proportion to viruses in the past.

      5,000 people choke on their food every year. Should we mandate that ALL of us only eat baby food to prevent choking?

      How many lives are worth condemning your grandchildren to economic collapse and grinding poverty? Those things also cause death. Not just for a few months, but for years.

      Reply to this comment

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