Today, the Congressional Budget Office is expected to issue a forecast that would likely put the federal deficit for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 at near $500 billion. These numbers are so big that they are meaningless to most folks. Because they are meaningless we are not outraged; but we should be. Our elected "representatives" have put us collectively in debt to the tune of approximately $6.8 Trillion, an even more meaningless number.
Our government, for ethical reasons, should make these outrageous numbers meaningful to the average citizen, but since that is not likely to happen, I thought I would take a stab at it.
Forget the principal for a moment and lets just talk about the interest the tax payers are paying on this $6,800,000,000,000. The prevailing interest rates have plunged to 40 year lows so that during the Fiscal Year 2002 we paid out only $332,536,958,599 in INTEREST on the debt. Still too big a number to relate to? Well that is the equivalent of 332,537 Millionaires, just in annual interest payments! That is more than $1,100 a year per man, woman, and child in the U.S. just for INTEREST. The total debt that the government has incurred in your name, is more that $23,000 for each man, woman, and child in the U.S.
If the $6.8 Trillion was a 30 year mortgage, it would break down something like the following, assuming a 6% interest rate.
Monthly Payment 40,769 new Millionaires, each month for the next 30 years 1st Month's Interest 34,000 new Millionaires Total Interest 7,877,020 new Millionaires or 7,877 new Billionaires Total Payments 14,677,020 new Millionaires or 14,677 new BillionairesAll these obscenely large numbers are assuming we don't add anything to the debt. Of course the fictitious budget "surplus" reported a couple years ago has evaporated. In fact, since September 2002, the national debt has increased by approximately 1,720 Millionaires PER DAY!
Next time you see these huge numbers floating around, just whack off the last six zeros. This will yield the number of Millionaires that is equivalent to. Or if the number is still too large, whack off 3 more zeros and then the number represents the equivalent number of Billionaires. Happy bean counting!