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The View from the Meadow
Observations of the Passing Scene

Political and Social Commentary by Dave Satre

How Much is a Trillion Dollars?

A trillion dollars is an incomprehensible amount of money for most people. Yet, our politicians are spending trillions of dollars on an almost daily basis. It is difficult to visualize a trillion dollars. Let's start with some smaller numbers.

This is a $100 bill. It will fit comfortably into any wallet:

A packet of 100 $100 bills equals $10,000. It is less than 1/2 inches thick:

How Much is $1 Million Dollars?

Do you remember when a million dollars was a lot of money? Everyone wanted to be a millionaire. Of course, that was when a dollar was a dollar --- not spare change. A million dollars is a thousand dollars times one thousand. It would be equal to 100 $10,000 packets.

 

$100 million worth of these packets would fit on a standard pallet:

 

How Much is a Billion Dollars?

It is difficult to visualize just how many dollars there are in $1 billion.  The politicians who are spending fortunes in government money make it sound as though they are dealing in smaller numbers by removing quite a few digits. For example, one of Bush's earlier budget deficits was $422,000,000,000 is more simply stated as $422 billion.

To put it in a different perspective, a billion is a thousand million. 

To place it in a better perspective, a billion seconds ago, it was the year 1959.

Humans first learned to write 252 billion seconds ago.

A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate Washington spends it.

Or ten pallets of $100 million:

Can you imagine 700 of these stacks? That was the original estimate of our government's Wall Street bailout plan!

The AIG bailout was 170 of these stacks!

How Much is a Trillion Dollars?

A trillion dollars is even more incomprehensible.  It's a million million. A thousand billion.

$1,000,000,000,000 = $1 trillion

One trillion seconds equals 1,688 years.

The oldest known human was alive 110 trillion seconds ago.

The US National Debt at the time of this writing is $11,054,250,000  or more simply stated: $11 trillion. The number is so large that the $3.5 billion this debt is increasing per day seems miniscule by comparison.

This is what $1 trillion would look like:

Note: This stack is two pallets high!

Some experts expect the Bailout to cost American Tax Payers at least two of these stacks!

So, the next time you hear a politician casually use the words "billion" or "trillion" think about whether you really want that politician spending your tax money.

 

 

We Need Change in Washington. Throw The Bums Out! Vote Against Incumbent Politicians in the next election!