My congressman reports today:
Speaking of items on to-do lists, first and foremost in the nationâ€™s
capital is making the difficult decisions to get the runaway spending
under control. The most recent estimate now puts this yearâ€™s deficit at
How much is 1.6 trillion? A lot more than 1.6. Here’s the number
written out: 1,600,000,000,000. A millimeter is really small, right?
One point six trillion of them is still one point six million
But then, a kilometer is shorter than a mile, so maybe it one point six
million kilometers isn’t really all that far. Go to Google and type
“1.6 million kilometers in miles”. It seems a BMW car racked up
that much mileage on a treadmill, but don’t try it at home. It’s almost
a million miles, 1.6 trillion millimeters. You could drive around the
earth at the equator about 40 times: 1.6 trillion millimeters.
So the currently-projected federal deficit for 2011 is 1.6 trillion
My congressman also gave this example:
Hereâ€™s an example of how far things have gotten away from us. In 2007,
the deficit was $160.7 billion, or 1.2 percent of GDP, and had
decreased every year since 2004.
In 2006, the year before Nancy Pelosi took control of the Speakerâ€™s
gavel, CBO projected that the deficit in 2011 would be $117 billion.
Because of the runaway spending since then, the 2011 deficit will be
an astonishing 1,367% higher than what CBO predicted just five years
OK, so how many times could you travel around the world at the equator
before you’ve gone 160.7 billion millimeters (the 2007 actual federal
deficit)? The first number (the 2007 federal deficit) in millimeters is
99,854 miles, or about four times around the earth.
For 117 billion (the 2006 projection of the 2011 federal deficit) in
millimeters, it’s 72,700 miles, or about three times around the earth.
Only four years ago, the congressional budget office predicted a federal
deficit for this year comparable to three laps around the earth, when
converted to millimeters. Since a deficit means that the federal
government is spending money it doesn’t have, I think that’s a bad
thing. I believe that government, like people, should live within its
means. That is, it should seek to spend no more than it receives, but
if that happens anyway, the resulting imbalance should be corrected as
soon as possible. That’s just the principle of the matter. But when I
realize that the government’s debt is really on my shoulders as a
taxpayer, and on the shoulders of my children, those three laps around
the earth seem almost criminally irresponsible.
So has the hope and change introduced in 2006 resulted in an
improvement? Well, if our goal is to consign all of our descendants to
slavery, then yes, we’ve seen a great advancement toward our goal!
Instead of the horrible three laps around the globe, we’re expecting to
rack up in one year alone, the equivalent of 40 laps around the globe.
Either somebody is incompetent beyond belief, or somebody is actually
trying to bring the United States to its knees. Which is more
charitable? I’m not sure.
So I’m glad we’ve got people like my congressman in Washington, people
who understand that the future of our country, and the future well-being
of American children depends, at least partly, upon how responsibly we
conduct ourselves in the present.
As Christian citizens, we have a responsibility to “render unto Caesar”
with the wisdom we have received from God’s Word. Please try to
understand these mind-boggling numbers that float across the news, and
their connection to the future of our civilization. Certainly, God is
in control, but He has also given Christian invididuals a responsibility
to exercise good judgment and act accordingly. We have the privilege of
voting in the United States, but also the constitutional right of free
speech. Speech can be a powerful tool for good or ill. I know, because
it’s most of what I do.