Thursday, January 8, 2009

“Anyone? Anyone?”

Written By D.

A big number doesn’t seem so large without all those zeroes. So saying 1 trillion as opposed to 1,000,000,000,000 is a useful way to make the number seem smaller and to save time typing all those zeroes. But the zeroes are very important and deserve inclusion.

The government of Tax-A-Lot’s deficit numbers are so large most people can’t relate to their actual size, more so without the zeroes, they just know the word “trillion” means a big number. Tax-A-Lot is counting on that as they pile on the debt, deeper and higher.

But here is a way to visualize it;

Yesterday it was reported that the federal deficit for fiscal year 2009 will be $1.2 trillion. That’s $1,200,000,000,000.

That’s a lot of debt, but if you think that is big, check out the total Federal Debt;

The Federal Debt is approximately; $10,600,000,000,000 (10.6 Trillion)

“As of November 19, 2008, the total U.S. federal debt was $10.6 trillion,
with about $37,316 per capita (that is, per U.S. resident). The October 3rd,
2008 bailout bill (H.R.1424), section 122, raised the U.S. debt ceiling from $10
trillion to $11.3 trillion. Of this amount, debt held by the public was roughly
$6.3 trillion. In 2007, the public debt was 36.8 percent of GDP, with a total
debt of 65.5 percent of GDP.”
Source Quoted;

The government has succeeded in making debt a large percentage of GDP.

How much does the government take in from taxes? Well, in 2004, Federal, State and Local government took in over $3,000,000,000,000 ($3 trillion.)

But they just can’t seem to manage on that paltry sum.

Where did that $3,000,000,000,000 come from? The short answer is it came from us taxpayers. But with higher and higher unemployment and more and more people entering retirement, there are fewer and fewer of us.

In case you are curious about the $3,000,000,000,000 broken out by specific taxes, here is a list of taxes for 2004 with all the zeroes;

Table 13. Federal, State and Local Taxes Allocated in the Current
Study, Calendar Year 2004

Federal Taxes
Calendar Year

Payroll Taxes (Contributions for
Government Social Insurance) $802,200,000,000

Individual Income
Taxes $801,400,000,000

Corporate Income Taxes

Estate and Gift Taxes

Gasoline Excise Taxes

Customs Duties, Etc.

Air Transport Excise Taxes

Other Excise Taxes

Diesel Fuel Excise Taxes

Alcoholic Beverages Excise Taxes

Tobacco Excise Taxes

Total Federal Taxes

State and Local Taxes

Property Taxes

General Sales and Gross Receipts Taxes

Individual Income Taxes

Other Taxes on Production and Imports

Corporate Income Taxes

Gasoline Excise Taxes

Other Excise Taxes

Public Utilities Taxes

Insurance Receipts Taxes

Personal Motor Vehicle License Taxes

Tobacco Excise Taxes

Motor Vehicle Licenses on Production & Imports

Severance Taxes $6,900,000,000

Assessments Taxes $6,500,000,000

Personal Property Taxes

Estate and Gift Taxes

Alcoholic Beverages Excise Taxes

Other Personal Taxes

Total State and Local Taxes

Source: U.S. Commerce Department’s
Bureau of Economic Analysis; Tax Foundation

And now we are being warned of the “dire consequences” of not spending more. I seem to recall being warned of the “dire consequences” of not passing the big bailout a few months ago. Yet as the deficit spending increases, the economy continues to tank.

OUESTION: How long do you think we can sustain this ever increasing debt?

ANSWER: Who knows? … I feel like the Economics Professor (played by Ben Stein) in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when, after asking a question and receiving no reply, he said, “Anyone? Anyone?”

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