Monday, January 12, 2009

People and Big Numbers

A small part of the problem with federal (and state) budget deficits and ridiculous spending is that people don't really comprehend how large the wasteful spending numbers are, and just how much money we are flushing down the proverbial toilet of government [in]efficiency. People can kinda grasp up to about a million dollars: that's "a lot" of money (enough to retire still, for many people). To that end, I offer the following suggestion: all official government numbers for deficits and spending, when in excess of $10,000,000, will be expressed as number of millions of dollars.

Thus, when we're talking about California's annual budget deficit, instead of saying "45 billion dollars", politicians will be forced to say "45 thousand, million dollars". The estimated federal budget deficit for next year before Obama's "waste as much money as possible" spending package will be "one million, two hundred thousand, million dollars". Obama's spending package will be estimated at "750 thousand million dollars (before added Congressional pork", etc.

I really think this would help a little in hammering home to the average person just how much money the government is printing to give away to insiders, special interests, and government waste. Consider that Bush is about to request another three hundred fifty thousand million dollars, so that Obama will have some spending cash to give to special interests right out of the gate (since Bush already gave away the first three hundred fifty thousand million dollars to investment banks and other financial institutions with insider connections). Then again, perhaps everyone's seeming lack of outrage is not due to the incomprehensibly large numbers of your money the government is taking from you to give to their buddies, in which case this exercise will not affect much change. It would still be a worthwhile change, though, in my opinion.

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