So the budget deficit is going to hit 1.7 trillion dollars this year. Mind you, that’s just the gap between government expenses and government revenue for the current tax year, not the national debt.
It’s kind of difficult for most people to envision just how much money we’re talking about here, so I’ve done a few calculations.
- In one-dollar bills, 1.7 trillion dollars weigh 1.7 million metric tons, or 40,000 tractor trailers full of cash.
- Stacked up, those bills would make a tower of dollar bills 109,000 miles high, or more than a third of the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
- That much paper money would take up a volume of two and a half million cubic yards—enough to recreate one of the World Trade Center towers with stacks of cash, and build a quarter of the second tower.
- Laid out next to each other, that amount of dollar bills would be enough to cover 6,786 square miles of ground, enough to paper over all of Connecticut and most of Rhode Island.
And that’s just the shortfall for this fiscal year.
Giving the power of the purse to people who live by four-year election cycles is like handing your household checkbook to a new accountant every four years to run your finances…and telling him he can write checks that won’t come due until the next guy gets the job.