Thursday, March 12, 2009

How To Outspend History In One Short Lesson

Somewhere today I read that Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) has come up with a novel way to explain just how much President Obama and the Democratic Congress has spent in the first 50 days of this administration. His math was pretty straight-forward, coming to roughly 1 billion, (with a "b"), dollars per day.

1,000,000,000.00 Dollars. Every day. For 50 days. Less than two Months.

But that number is still out of reach for most of us to understand.

Let me see if I can bring it into a more readily digested form. Let's suppose, for a moment, that you were there in Bethlehem a little over 2000 years ago when Christ was born.

Now let's suppose that your way to celebrate this great occasion was to begin handing out 20 dollar bills. There were no cigars to hand out at that time, so a paper portrait of Andy Jackson will have to do. (Never mind that there were no 20 dollar bills 2000 years ago either. We're supposin', remember?)

When you're standing on a corner handing out 20 dollar bills, word gets out pretty quick. A line forms. Soon you are handing out 20 dollar bills at a rapid clip --about one per second-- $1200 bucks per hour. I know some lawyers, a few bankers, a preacher or two, and some doctors, but I don't know anyone who makes $1200 bucks an hour.

Anyway. You stand there. Handing out your 20 dollar bills as fast as you can. People file past and collect their 20 bucks and shuffle on their way. You continue to do this until you've spent your own 1.2 trillion dollars. (I know, you don't have 1.2 trillion dollars. Obama and Congress don't either, but that didn't stop them. Did it?)

You finally exhaust your pile of Jacksons about the time that Obama is elected.

Over two thousand years. At 20 bucks per second. Twelve hundred bucks an hour. I know some lawyers, a few bankers, a preacher or two, and some doctors, but I still don't know anyone who makes $1200 bucks an hour. But I know of some folks who can spend it way faster than that.

This exercise, by necessity, is an estimate only. For the first 1500 years or so you will run out of people in the world before you run out of seconds in the year.

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