Letter to the Editor

Reality check. The (real) state of our nation.

Published March 1, 2013

The Herald

I don’t think the average person can really comprehend the financial situation that we as a country have gotten ourselves into. They don’t talk much about millions of dollars anymore, and billions of dollars are no longer a big deal. Now they deal in TRILLIONS of dollars! Can we really comprehend what a trillion dollars is! Here is an example that may help.

If you could get one dollar ($1.00) each second of your life, that would be three thousand six hundred dollars ($3600.00) each hour, or eighty six thousand, four hundred dollars ($86,400.00) per day, or thirty one million, five hundred sixty three thousand dollars ($31,563,000) per year. It would take you thirty one thousand, seven hundred ten (31,710) years to get one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000.00).

Or if you could get thirty one thousand, seven hundred ten dollars ($31,710.00) per second, that would be one hundred fourteen million, one hundred fifty six thousand dollars ($114,156,000.00) per hour, or two billion, seven hundred thirty nine million, seven hundred forty four thousand dollars ($2,739,744,000.00) per day. That would actually come to one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000.00) in a year!!

Last year our nation spent 3.5 trillion dollars ($3,500,000,000,000.00) and that was 1.3 trillion ($1,300,000,000,000.00) more than we took in! Our government spent one hundred ten thousand, nine hundred eighty five dollars ($110,985.00) per second, or three hundred ninety nine million, five hundred forty six thousand dollars ($399,546,000.00) PER HOUR! That’s nine billion, five hundred eighty nine million, one hundred four thousand dollars ($9,589,104,000.00) PER DAY!!

Is your head spinning yet? Mine is!!

These, so called, huge automatic cuts they are talking about would amount to less then nine days (8.76 days) of our governments abnormal spending, and we’d still be spending more this year then we did last year. Yet, if you listen to the news, they make it sound like the world will come to an end if the government actually makes these cuts. We all let them by with this because these numbers are so hard, if not impossible, for us to understand.

I’ll try to bring it down to a family living budget perspective. If we compare our government’s annual spending to a fifty thousand dollar ($50,000.00) family living budget, the cuts they are talking about would be equal to $1,200 of cuts. But that’s not out of the $50,000.00 we spent last year because we were planning on spending $52,857.00 next year. So, after the $1,200 drastic cut, we’re still planning on spending $51,657.00. The big problem with all this is that we’ve only been making $34,286.00 each year and now we owe $237,143.00 and at the rate were going we’ll owe $614,286.00 or more in ten years. In this case I hope our family banker keeps our interest rate low because if he charges us 5.6% interest on our debt, it’ll take all of our income just to pay the interest. That help? Have a great day!

Jim Erickson

6204 123rd Ave Sw

New England, ND 58647


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