Saturday, July 19, 2008

How Many Zeroes in a Billion?

Clayton Mackey, my next door neighbor and Republican activist of West Shokan, New York, has forwarded the following to me.*

How many zeros in a billion?

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

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

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain...let's take a look at New Orleans... it's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number...what does it mean?

A. Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child) you each get $516,528.

B. Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or... if you are a family of four...your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D. C < HELLO! > Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone M inimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt...

We had the largest middle class in the world... and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell "P-O-L-I-T-I-C-I-A-N-S"?

And I still have to press '1' for English.

I hope this goes around the USA at least 100 times.

What the heck happened?????

*The e-mail was without attribution. If the author objects to my posting it, please inform me and I will remove it.


Drake said...

Perhaps the only thing more depressing than these facts is the national debt, which comes in at a sobering $9.5 trillion if you don't count unfunded Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare, but an alarming $59.1 trillion if you do.

At least according to Wikipedia. Quite an interesting read, as a matter of fact.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Ouch!. $59.1 trillion is probably chump change to Barack Obama. I can't wait to see!

Drake said...

Okay, after further reading, assuming Wikipedia is right (and I do in this instance, because the article is littered with citations), the statement in the email that "100 years ago ... [w]e had absolutely no national debt ..." is incorrect.

According to the article:

The United States has had public debt since its inception. Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.

So, apparently debt has been in our nation's blood from the beginning. That's a shame.

One thing I noticed from the article was how much the debt grew during Reagan's presidency. I guess it just goes to show that supply side economics doesn't work. I also noticed that it fared much better under Clinton. Yet, I've always suspected the fiscal discipline under the Clinton agency was more a product of the line-item veto before it was declared unconstitutional. Can anybody rebut me on this? Romney also made liberal use of the state line-item veto while he was governor of Massachusetts, and, from what I understand (again, correct me if I'm wrong), Romney was able to reign in spending and not raise taxes.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Interesting claim about the line item veto. If I recall, in the late nineteenth century there was a federal surplus because the tariff had been increased for protectionist reasons. I think that was in the 1880s and 1890s. You raise some interesting points. The one about Reagan is upsetting. A friend who was an avid supporter of Reagan's argues that it was mainly due to military build up. I don't know the role of the line item veto but my guess is that the psychology of spending also plays a big role.

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