The budget numbers being talked about now are so large that they don’t really mean much to most people. Talking about $1,000 is meaningful, but $5 trillion (that’s 5 with 12 zeros) is so large that most people don’t have a point for comparison. It can be like trying to think of the number of stars that are in the sky or the number of grains of sand on a beach. Incomprehensible.

Today there are 333 million residents in the US and 7.9 billion people inhabiting earth. Five trillion is 15,015 times greater than the population of the US and 635 times greater than the population of the entire planet.

Adding $5 trillion to the US budget is a very big number. The US government collected $6.5 trillion in taxes last year. Of that, $300 billion (or almost 10 times the number of residents in the US) went toward paying just the interest on the current $23 Trillion national debt – and that’s before possibly adding an additional $5 trillion to the tab now.

We are not paying down the current debt, so do we think it would be helpful to instead increase it by more than 21 percent? If citizens ran our personal finances in a similar manner we would be considered complete idiots.

But maybe since the governments numbers are so very much larger it is looked at differently? Or do we not speak up about the issue because the numbers are just so large that we don’t really comprehend them?

Regardless of what the new spending is for, we need to really consider these numbers. Think about it.

Flynn Clyburn,



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