The Universe and the Federal Deficit

Originally published July 24, 2011

I've always been intrigued by the vastness of space. Earlier today I found it fascinating to learn that two teams of astronomers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder discovered what they believe is the largest and furthest reservoir of water ever detected in our universe. The amount of water is estimated to be 100,000 times the mass of the sun or 34 billion times the mass of the Earth in a quasar some 12 billion light years distant. The speed of light is 186, 282 MPS (miles per second), one light year is just a bit less than 6 trillion miles. The concept of 12 billion x 6 trillion miles distant is difficult for me to fathom.

To be honest when numbers get into the trillions they become a bit difficult to comprehend in my opinion and that brings me to our Federal Deficit - $14 trillion and unless you've been on holiday on the aforementioned quasar you likely know our government is looking to raise the debt limit.

To get to a 14 trillion debt, if you spent at the speed of light or $186,282 DPS ($s per second) above what you earned it would take almost 2.4 years to get there.

Or perhaps more simply stated, in the 235 years we've been a country we've on average spent roughly $100K PER MINUTE ($163 million per day) more then we've collected every single minute of every single one of those 235 years!

Does that make sense? Not!

Update effective December 31, 2012

The Federal Deficit is now estimated to hit $16.4 trillion by 2012 year's end.

To get to a 16.4 trillion debt, if you spent at the speed of light or $186,282 DPS ($s per second) above what you earned it would take almost 2.8 years to get there.

Or perhaps more simply stated, in the 236.5 years we've been a country we've on average spent roughly $132K PER MINUTE ($190 million per day) more then we've collected every single minute of every single one of those 236.5 years!

Is this perhaps why S&P downgraded U.S. credit rating back in 2011?

Tax Revenue * $ 2,162,000,000,000

Spending * $ 3,456,000,000,000

Deficit/New Debt * $ 1,294,000,000,000

National Debt (est) $ 14,271,000,000,000

Budget Cuts (est) $ 40,000,000,000

Let's remove some zeros and look at this as if it were your Household Budget.

Family Income $ 21,620

Family spending $ 34,560

New CC Debt $ 12,940

Outstanding CC Debt $ 142,710

Total Budget Cuts $ 400

Does that Household Budget make sense? Neither does the other one!

* Source: CBO Fiscal 2010

at 8:04 PM
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