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Billions and Trillions

Posted Monday, December 1, 2008, at 8:47 PM

The following is a list of major financial outlays by the U.S. Government, recently published by Bianco Research of Chicago. The dollar amounts are the cost of the program, adjusted for inflation at today's value.

NASA -- $851.2 billion

VIETNAM WAR -- $698 billion

INVASION OF IRAQ -- $597 billion

THE NEW DEAL -- $500 billion

KOREAN WAR -- $454 billion

S&L CRISIS -- $256 billion

RACE TO THE MOON -- $237 billion

LOUISIANA PURCHASE -- $217 billion

MARSHALL PLAN -- $115.3 billion

TOTAL -- $3.92 trillion

The U.S. Government is currently in the middle of a Credit Crisis Bailout, the largest outlay in USA history. If you add the Citi bailout, the total cost of the Credit Crisis fisaco now exceeds $4.6165 trillion, and it is still mounting.

A billion is a thousand million.

A trillion is a thousand billion or a million million.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago the Crucifixion had not yet taken place.

At the rate the U.S. Government spends money, it takes only 8 hours and 20 minutes to spend a billion dollars.

Congress is made up of mostly lawyers. It's truly amazing how ignorant some of them are when it comes to math and accounting.

For example, after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), asked the Congress for $250 billion to rebuild New Orleans.

Interesting number. Suppose it was divided equally among the victims of the hurricane.

If you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you would each receive $516,528. A family of four would receive $2,066,012.

There were 188,251 homes in New Orleans. That's $1,329,787 per home.

Here's another interesting number. There are 66,498 pages in the U.S. federal tax code.

Our federal government is so far out of control it may be beyond repair. Our national debt now exceeds $10 trillion, about $40,000 for every man, woman, child and newborn in America, and the newly elected president wants to add more government programs, costing more dollars, to the mix.

This is insane. More government means more collective debt and less individual freedom.

The U.S. government solution to this financial debacle is jobs, jobs, jobs, growth, growth, growth. We are mice on a treadmill, running and running in a circle, getting further and further in the hole.

Instead of endless, mindless growth, our objective should be quality of life. A shorter work week. Less wasteful spending. Living within our means instead of a credit and consumption frenzy to acquire things.

It's time to stop the madness.


Quote for the Day -- "He who is greedy is always in want." Horace (ancient Roman poet)




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Boldly Going Nowhere
Bret Burquest
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.
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