Thursday, March 16, 2006

Innumeracy on Capital Hill

Today, the Senate voted to increase the national debt limit to $9 trillion. That's a nine with twelve zeros. Democrats refused to support this necessary bill, forcing Republican lawmakers to take the black mark on their voting records instead under the rarely invoked "you broke it, now you go fix it, jerk!" rule in the Senate.

So, nine trillion. That's a lot of dough. It works out, as the newspapers will tell us tomorrow morning, to about $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Here's what else you can get for a cool $9T, in terms that our materialistic culture can understand:
  • 155,172,413 Cadillac Escalades (2007)
  • 529,723,366,686 copies of Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
  • 849,056,603,773 boxes of Dick CheneyTM 28 gauge birdshot cartriges (25 to a box!)
  • 30,000,000,000 $300 tax refund checks to pay down the budget surplus (oops!)
  • 3,750,000 Republican Congressmen
  • 12,857 U.S. Presidential election campaigns (all candidates)
  • 112.5 Googles (market value)
  • 180 more years of war in Iraq
Coincidentally (or not??), that's the same number of Bill Gateses you could buy. But on the up side, all we have to do, as a society, is produce 180 more philanthropic Bill Gates-types who could bail us out of all this. Or our children could starve. Either way.
Listed on BlogShares