We have a hard time understanding big numbers, because we never encounter them in day-to-day life. “1 Trillion Dollars”? What does that even mean?
Carrie Lukas at NRO’s The Corner blog points us to something very helpful — explaining the U.S. Budget in terms of a household budget:
The Gainesville Tea Party seems to have the right idea: They take some of our key economic numbers — how much money the U.S. government brings in, how much it spends, and how much brave politicians are “cutting” to bring those numbers into balance — and simply lop off eight zeros (i.e., divide by 100 million) to make those numbers something that American families can relate to:
Why S&P Downgraded the US:
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent [April] budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Budget cuts: $385
As Carrie observed, this comparison is extremely eye-opening. It shows just how unsustainable and irresponsible our current government spending, debt and deficit is.
How on earth, in this context, can liberals and progressives continue to argue for even MORE spending and even LESS budget cuts? A family seriously carrying on business as usual with these sorts of numbers would be insane, or at the very least extremely imprudent.
How is this sort of spending, debt, and deficit possibly moral on a grand scale when we can see how clearly unwise it is on a family scale?