17512 Columbia

How many zeros are in a trillion?

In Government, Opinions, Opportunities, People on April 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

Subtitled “pigs at the trough!”

Today’s newspapers columns are filled with articles about the national debt and the need to find ways to reduce the load. An AP article shouts “Both parties helped run up $14 trillion U.S. debt.

No kidding … who didn’t know that? How many of know there are twelve zeros in a trillion? So when we put zeros to the U.S. debt, the precise debt looks like this: $14,272,993,603,617.44 (but it increases by the minute).

Despite the allegations that one party levels against the other about extravagance with other people’s money, the cited article above says, “It (the debt) broke through the $1 trillion mark (that’s a $1 followed by 12 zeroes) in 1981, the first year of the Reagan’s presidency. But despite Reagan’s vow to balance the budget, the debt tripled during his two terms, to just over $3 trillion under the weight of a recession, large tax cuts and increased spending. [Editor's NOTE:] Because budgets sometimes are cumbersome to wade through, we found this interesting article useful (Remember, this article is about last year’s budget): “Obama’s 2010 Federal Budget Explained in Plain English.”

“When his successor, President George H.W. Bush, left office in early 1993, the debt was over $4 trillion. Clinton’s eight years in office took it to nearly $6 trillion, despite those fleeting budget surpluses. When George W. Bush finished his two terms the debt had pushed through the $10 trillion mark.”

And now, two and one-half years later it is $14,272,993,603,617.44 and counting.

Tough cuts?

Two or so weeks ago, we read a letter to the editor in a newspaper from a concerned citizen. This citizen likened the recent $38 billion (or $38,000,000,000) congressional budget cuts to an average person’s household budget.

We decided to recreate the “draconian” budget cut allocation to a monthly gross budget of $2,500 (that’s before taxes). Our calculation is that instead of $2,500 a month, the average person would be receiving $2,493.21. For most of us, that kind of cut would not make much of a dent in our lifestyles (It’s one less visit to a fast food restaurant). Yet, those “pigs at the trough” we call “public servants” are patting themselves on the back for these tough cuts.

The above article (you can read it here) says “of the $14.27 trillion ($14,270,000,000.000) is money the government owes itself – mostly money borrowed from Social Security revenues. Without it, the ‘debt held by the public” is $9.65 trillion ($9,650,000,000,000).”

Isn’t is something about elected officials at virtually every level: They all seem to think that the public trough somehow fills itself automatically they’ve got a natural right to keep slurping up other people’s money from that trough?

There is faulty reasoning behind this, though. The want to keep the trough filled for their individual purposes while defaulting on promises to their own citizens and future generations.

Pay attention to just how much these “public servants” want to hack away from citizen and future generations’ benefits to maintain their own pet projects. It is time to insist, no, make that demand, that elected “public officials” become accountable; take responsible actions and a focus on citizens, future generations and the general welfare of the borough, county, state and country.

[NOTE:] Two editorial columns worth reading are in the April 15, 2011 Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era: The Lancaster New Era editorial, “The debate over nation’s deficit” and a syndicated Boston Globe writer, Derrick Jackson’s “The great U.S. robbery.

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