A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

700 Billion Bailout.

I am not ever going to be mistaken for an economist. I can, on a good day, give the correct change to the clerk to buy a newspaper but there are days I can’t do even that. Big numbers scare me, especially when I have to write them in the column marked withdrawals in my checkbook. Any thing with more than a zero or two gets entered with handwriting that looks like a chicken had a seizure with a pen strapped to his leg.
But in the interest of keeping current with economic events I present:

Some ways of looking at 700,000,000,000.

Actually let’s start much smaller. 80 years we may get on this planet. 29,200 days, 700,800 hours and 42,048,000 minutes. So if you paid back a dollar a minute it would take 16,647 lifetimes to pay back 700 Billion. Better start counting! Here is another way of slicing this pie:

To count out one Billion nonstop without sleep or eating it would take Thirty-Nine years. To count out 700 Billion would take 27,300 years. That’s a lot of Red Bull. It would be the year 29308 when you finished. Makes the year 2525 seem like it’s just around the corner.

A Billion pennies stacked would reach nearly one thousand miles high.
The image shows a billion pennies.

700 billion would reach 700 thousand miles high.

700 billion worth of pennies would fill about 30 sears towers.

As of 2007, there are about 138 million taxpayers in the United States. If I understand this 700 Billion dollar bailout at all then those taxpayers (Hey, that’s you and me!) are the people who would be paying that 700 billion dollars. That comes out to be nearly $5,100 per tax payer. So for a couple that is over $10,000. The day the government puts $10,000 into the checkbook of this taxpayer would be a very happy day indeed.

But the money is not going to be coming into your checkbook or my checkbook. The Government is going to give it to someone else.
Consider this. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense has been quoted as saying "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” In other words the military lost $2.3 trillion.
The picture shows what a stack of a trillion pennies would look like to scale. That's the empire state building.

One Trillion dollars is One Thousand Billion dollars. To count out a Trillion dollars nonstop without sleeping or eating it would take Thirty-Nine Thousand (39,000) years. I am not sure how much Red Bull that would take.

So this government of ours lost more than 300 Billion more than the bailout would cost.
Sen. Everett Dirkson is rumored to have said "A billion here, a billion there..., pretty soon, you're talking real money." So what’s a trillion between friends, right? Or then again I could be wrong.

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