Dollars and cents sense

Via Business Insider:

We’re still working our way through Kleiner Perkins’ partner Mary Meeker’s excellent analysis of the financial condition of the United States.

We’ll be breaking out some key sections in the next few days. In the meantime, here’s the one chart you need to see to understand why the US is screwed.

This is the “income statement” of the United States in 2010.  “Revenue” is on the left.  “Expenses” are on the right.

Note a few things…

First, “Revenue” is tiny relative to “Expenses.”

Second, most of the expense is entitlement programs, not defense, education, or any of the other line items that most budget crusaders normally howl about.

Third, as horrifying as these charts are, they don’t even show the trends of these two pies: The “expense” pie is growing like gangbusters, driven by the explosive growth of the entitlement programs that no one in government even has the balls to talk about. “Revenue” is barely growing at all. (read more)

Now, let’s see…..

   $2.2 trillion
– $3.5 trillion
   – $1.5 trillion

Or, sounded out that’s $2.2 trillion minus $3.5 trillion equals negative $1.5 trillion.  Now, just so there’s no misunderstanding here, that’s
-$1.5 trillion or -$1,500,000,000,000.

Still doesn’t sound too bad to you? Let’s put a “trillion” in perspective by using something very small in size, like pennies. So, one trillion pennies would look like…

1,000,000,000,000 pennies

That doesn’t put it in perspective for you? How about this?…

1,000,000,000,000 pennies

You realize that, from left to right those images are the the Sears Tower (1,450 feet tall), the Empire State Building (1,250 fee tall), one trillion pennies (a cube of 273 feet), the Washington Monument (555 fee tall), the Lincoln Memorial and, finally the same football field in the previous image.

Okay. Now, think about this:

How long would it be, if you stacked all one trillion pennies on top of one another?  Well that would be about 986,426 miles.

How much area would it cover, if you laid them all out flat in a big square? Well, that would be about 89,675.2 acres.

But, have no fear, Michael Moore’s got a plan to get some money to fix this lop-sided scale between revenue and expenditures. Crazy? Yeah. It is.

*Note: You can also catch Business Insider’s short course.

Explore posts in the same categories: Miscellaneous, National Politics

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