Buddy, Can You Spare A Trillion?


Who is representing you in Washington, D.C.?

There's plenty of concern around the banking industry. I get that. Credit is essentially a utility that has to be provided and protected. But then along comes the auto industry handout, soon to be followed by who knows how many other handouts. The inside-the-beltway types are throwing around billion-dollar spending packages like it's rock salt being used to clear a New England driveway.

So while we are ready to bail out all these poorly managed megabusinesses with multimillion-dollar-paid executive teams, we have to wonder who will generate the taxes to make them solvent? There are more Americans employed by small businesses than all the big conglomerates combined. And, yes, there are more taxes being paid by small businesses than the big boys as well. Trouble is, small businesses don't have hundreds of tax lawyers and accountants to find the loopholes.

They also don't have teams of lobbyists in Washington, and the big boys have lots.

So get ready. You, the small-business owners of this country, along with other individuals, will be paying for the bulk of the bailout.
And how much will that be? Well, we really don't know just yet. One thing for certain, however, is that it's going to be north of $1 trillion. I saw some recent calculations via the Congressional Budget Office that put the possible deficit we will be facing as a result of the forthcoming spending spree to be as high as $1.9 trillion.

So let's stop and think about this for a second or two. Just how much is $1 trillion? We don't have any trillionaires, so we can't ask them. It's also too much for any handheld calculator that I have. But go through this exercise with me. If a single individual were to be asked to pay off a $1 trillion bill and worked out an installment plan of paying the government a dollar every second, when would that person have had to been born in order to pay off the debt by the end of this year? So, asked a different way, just when was a trillion seconds ago? I asked this of a math major friend of mine over a recent weekend. Without the use of a calculator, she guessed about 11 days ago. I laughed.
Do the math. 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 365 days. Once you get it all figured out, you'll realize there are only 31.5 million seconds in a year. Keep doing the math, and you'll be shocked to discover this:

A single individual charged with paying back a dollar every second would have had to been born in the year 29,700 B.C. in order to pay off a $1 trillion deficit by the end of this year. Think about that the next time your elected representative votes for additional bailout dollars that could drive the payback amount even higher.