We have only to change the point of view and the greatest action looks mean.
- Thackeray, English Novelist (1811-1863)
The Federal budget explained in terms of a family budget.
Here are the current numbers on the U.S. Federal Budget:
* United States Tax revenue: $2,312,600,000,000
* Federal budget: $3,616,300,000,000
* New debt: $1,303,700,000,000
* National debt: $15,128,600,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000
Now, remove 8 zeros then double the numbers to bring it close to the 2009 median household income of $50,221:
* Annual family income: $46,252
* Money the family spent: $72,326
* New debt on the credit card: $26,074
* Outstanding balance on credit card: $302,572
* Recent budget cuts: $770
When you think of the recent budget battle that almost ground the government to a halt, it really helps put things in perspective: imagine the insanity of a family so completely dysfunctional that they’ve managed to rack up over $300,000 in credit card debt, adding over $26,000 in debt this year alone and yet in debating the ways to cut down on expenses, the entire family almost completely tears itself apart just trying to shave a measly $770 from their spending.
I based this on a post making the rounds a couple days ago, although that one used numbers dating back to April when the national debt at $14.2 trillion, so I updated the numbers, but the premise in removing those 8 zeros – that really does help put things in perspective.
I don’t think the human mind can really wrap itself around the Federal budget and numbers with that many zeros, numbers in the billions and trillions, but you scale those numbers down to the numbers of a modest household budget and then it becomes very clear just how insane things have become in Washington, D.C.