Being just weeks away from reaching our debt ceiling and with frightening talk about a fiscal cliff, there’s much sympathy in Washington for tax increases. Even conservatives are wavering. A few Republicans have dumped their anti-tax pledges, and former Nixon official-turned-actor Ben Stein favors taxing the wealthy. He says that we can’t cut our way to a balanced budget and insists that the revenue end must be addressed. But I have news for him: he’ll have a better chance finding Ferris Bueller on his day off than fiscal sanity through tax increases.
Let’s get real. Federal revenue this year will be approximately $2.5 trillion.
How much, again? Well, updating some examples Rob Bluey provided at The Foundry lends the following perspective:
• It is 2,500 billion
• At $45.8 million per year, LeBron James would need to work 54, 607.5 years to earn it
• Average life in the U.S. lasts 2.4 billion seconds
• 2.5 billion seconds ago = 1933
•2.5 trillion seconds ago = 74,250 BC
Furthermore, a stack of 2.5 trillion dollar bills would reach a height of 169, 665 miles — more than two thirds the way to the moon. This brings us to the second part of the problem.
We’re set to spend this year $3,500,000,000,000.
Stacked up, that many bills reach to the moon. And that’s where we’re headed fiscally.
To the moon, Alice.
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Selwyn Duke (photo)