Spread your arms wide for showing a trillion

With corporate America extending their hand(s) for a government bailout, and half our population wanting the other half to feed, house, transport, and provide entertainment for them…at no cost to them mind you…the Fed talks about spending – or should I say “stimulating” – with a few hundred billion here, a few hundred billion there. They toss about these numbers as if Joe Six-pack’s half-full wallet of hard-earned dollar bills really can compete with the volume of bucks being talked about.

OK, the soapbox pose was short-lived. Thanks to an an article found/read in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday (1/29/09), research conducted by John Hopkins University, Congressional Budget Office, The Washington Post, and Dallas Morning News will help be fill up a blog posting:

How much is a trillion?

  • A trillion dollars could give every high school student in the U.S. a free college education.
  • A trillion dollars could buy 16.6 million Habitat for Humanity houses (here we go with that hand-out mentioned above) enough for 43 million Americans.
  • A trillon barrels of oil could – at current consumption levels – fuel the world for about 33 years.
  • According to the U.S. Treasury, the average taxpayer’s adjusted gross income was $58,029 in 2006. At that rate, the taxpayer would have to work 17,232.76 years to make $1 trillion.
  • Oracle’s Larry Ellison was the top-paid CEO in 2007, making $192.9 million in total compensation. At that rate, he would have to work 5,184 years to make $1 trillion.
  • American investor Warren Buffett is the richest man in the world, with $62 billion. He would have to increase his worth 16.67 times to be worth $1 trillion.
  • If you had gone into business on the day Jesus was born and your business made a million dollars every day, it would take you until October 2737 to make a trillion dollars.
  • $1 trillion would be enough money to buy about 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints for me please) for every person in the United States.
  • $1 trillion could pave the entire U.S. interstate highway system with gold – 23.5 karat gold leaf.
  • A million seconds ago was 12 days ago; A billion seconds ago was 1959; A trillion seconds ago – 31,688 years – Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe.
  • A trillion miles is roughly the distance of 350 trips from Earth to Pluto.
  • 2007 reported Corporate revenues (±$1 trillion):
    Microsoft: $51 billion
    Citi: $159 billion
    Wal-Mart: $388 billion
    ExxonMobil: $404 billion
  • 2007 Federal Budget:
    Veterans’ benefits: $73 billion
    Education: $90 billion
    Interest on U.S. debt: $244 billion
    Medicare: $395 billion
    Defense: $548 billion
    Social Security: $586 billion
  • “In 1987, the entire federal budget passed $1 trillion. Today, the nation is looking at the prospect of a $1 trillion deficit.” (taken verbatim from the DMN article)

You can cut and paste this information (with due credit of the research source – not me BTW) and send it to your Congressman and Senators next time they want to bail out some now-disadvantaged business or come to the aid of another discriminated-against group of people or animals…not that it would do any good getting lost in the billions of pieces of mail Congress probably ignores and trillions of dollars lobbyists influence every year – but do try none the less…did somebody move that soapbox?


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