You probably won’t believe this, but I’d love to believe that President Bush is a capable, competent representative of a powerful collective of 300,000,000 free-thinking individuals. I’m just havin’ a little trouble with that. See, I’m not sure this man understands the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion. Some people don’t, you know.
I mean, when he asked for $87 billion, I did a quick calculation ($87,000,000,000/300,000,000) and figgerred this was about $300/head * me+my wife+my daughter, and got $900 to fund the Iraqi reconstruction. Well, OK.
So I was reading this article from some financial site like Motley Fool, and it turns out I really was confused about the distinction between the budget deficit and the national debt. See the deficit tells you the difference between what we have available to spend and what we plan to spend, and the debt tells you what we already owe our own bondholders and other nations. It’s kinda like, you know you make $35,000 a year, but you spend $37,500, which means that at the end of the year you owe $2500 on your Visa at 13.5% interest. So that year, you have a $2500 budget deficit and a $2500 debt.
But it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that if you keep this up, next year you’ll have a $2500 deficit, but a $6000 debt, and so on.
So my understanding is that we currently have about a $500 billion deficit, and a $7 trillion debt. What that means to me and my family, if I understand this at all, is that we owe somebody somewhere around $75,000, and Bush is a) cutting taxes and giving rebates, and b) asking for more spending. At least the Democrats have the god-given sense to ‘tax and spend’ instead of just spending.
For an extra-special Asparagus Pee perspective, consider this: A trillion is a million million, so if there were 7 million millionaires in America, our national debt would take all 7,000,000 of their fortunes.