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Show me the money!Posted Thursday, March 5, 2009, at 11:36 AM
As I write this, the U.S. national debt is $10,950,386,984,251.34 and counting, according to http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/. Almost 11 trillion dollars! It's hard to comprehend exactly how much money that is.
According to The Saturday Evening Post one trillion one-dollar bills could form a chain that would "stretch from the earth to the moon and back again 200 times before you ran out of dollar bills! In fact, $1 trillion in singles would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun." NASA says the average distance from earth to the moon is 382,500 kilometers, which is 237,674.48 miles.
Assuming that there are exactly 13,000 residents of Marshall, $1 trillion divided among the population would be about $76,923,076 per person. With that much money, I think I could visit every place I want to travel in the world and still have money left over.
There has been much talk about the recent economic stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. A total of $787 billion for infrastructure development, schools, science and technology research, alternative energy, the list goes on and on. And while I do think that a bullet train connecting Las Vegas and Disneyland could be considered pork-barrel spending, I do not dispute that roads and bridges nationwide need to be fixed or that children have the right to attend schools that are in good condition, staffed by competent and caring teachers.
I find it interesting that many people are up in arms against the stimulus bill, yet they didn't mind spending $656.1 billion on the war in Iraq (this number does not include Afghanistan), which has cost more than 4,000 American lives. Nor did they mind bailing out Wall Street with no strings attached last September.
Only history will tell if the economic stimulus is well spent, or if it works at all. I am inclined to think it will. The majority of the projects are things this country needs and has needed for a while. True, this increases the burden on generations yet to come, but we have to make sure the country is viable for those generations. And for those of you who think the Democrats are the only big spenders, the national debt in 2000 was a little over $5 trillion. Look where we are now.
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Little Town Blues Goes to China
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Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.