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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

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Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Nine Trillion Dollars!

The U.S. Congress just passed a last minute bill authorizing the U.S. Government to deepen its debt still more, so that now it stands at nearly nine trillion dollars. This goes along with the modern Republican policy of keeping the country awash in red ink, along with their other policies of keeping the nigg- -- er, the Muslims -- down,engaging in wholesale corruption, destroying hard-won rights of all kinds, and on and on

I expect that Mr. and Mrs. America, as usual, will little note nor long remember this nominally disturbing situation. One reason for this will be that the size of that debt is so astronomical that it can't be easily grasped.

On her program this morning, Rachel Maddow passed along a striking image that is intended to help us. Nine trillion dollars would be the value of twenty-eight (28) full-sized Eiffel towers made entirely of gold!

But I'm not sure that even picturing that is of much help.

In reporting this debt people like to add that this means that every American individually owes thirty thousand dollars.

Fat chance however that anyone has of making them band together in an enormous patriotic effort to gather it together.

So how will such an enormous debt be paid, to the shadowy figures here and abroad to whom it is owed? And why are so few normally prudent people worried about it?

After they mention the 30 thou that each of us owes, commentators like to suggest that we are passing on the burden of repaying this lordly sum to "our children." But that ignores the fact that distant generations are only extensions of this one, and the characters will be almost exactly the same, and they won't have any more interest in coughing up all that dough than we do.

It is of little comfort to recall that the first and last time the U.S. government was free of debt was during the administration in the early 1830's of Andrew Jackson -- except, maybe, to note that he was also the first President of the newly formed Democratic Party.

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