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Interested in the Interest?

July 28, 2011

Here’s a number for you. Be careful, it’s pretty big. It’s heavy and unwieldy. I have no idea what we are going to do with it. In many ways it’s actually kind of frightening.

In today’s climate of big numbers circulating around Washington, this one seems to have missed the evening news. I’ve never heard anyone bring it up. Maybe it’s that elephant in the room. Maybe it’s the family secret that nobody wants to talk about. You add all those commas up and what do you have?  $ 8.152 Trillion dollars. I could live pretty darn good on a one tenth of a  percent, a tiny fraction of that.

The reality is, I could live like royalty and fund a small island in the pacific for a very long time. I’d take my $81 Billion and call it a day.

You see Congress and those political types on Capital Hill seem to think “We the People” can’t wrap our minds around figures that high. They want to believe that the scope of a trillion is lost on us common folk. Let me show you what I am talking about…

That number up there — that is what “We the People” have spent in interest on the National Debt since 1988. Let me repeat that… We’ve dished out over $8 Trillion dollars in interest payments on our national debt since 1988. Assuming the US population is 312 Billion, each man, woman and child has kicked in over $26,000 into these interest payments. And that’s just the interest.  The debt just keeps growing. Which is exactly why we are where we are. And this isn’t about whose fault this is or who put us here.

Here’s a little food for thought. What could we have done with that money over the last couple of decades?

With $8 Trillion we could:

  • Fund the military budget for nearly 12 years
  • Pay the expenses of the Mayo Clinic for over 1,000 years
  • Fund the education for over 40 million children from grades 1-12
  • Build over 40 million houses for the homeless
  • Completely rebuild every bridge needing repair, resurface every section of the US Interstate system and have plenty left over to fund that High Speed Rail system the administration wants.
  • Completely fund the US Health Care system for well over three years.
Bill Gates is the second richest man in the world at a net worth of $56 billion. (0.0069 % of  this number)

I could go on but you should be getting the picture by now. We have a very serious problem. We are a financial prisoner of our debt and Congress is arguing about the need to add more. We are stealing money from our grandchildren and it is getting worse every day.

Stop the insanity! Instead of figuring out how to borrow more we have to find a way to pay off these commitments and become a debt-free nation. If it doesn’t stop we’ll be like the orphan Oliver standing at the world bank with our hands out saying, “Please sir, may I have some more?”

Imagine what we could do without the burden of debt. America could be great again instead of lining the pockets of foreign investors.

And in case you are wondering where I got this number:

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm

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3 Comments
  1. Angie~Lah permalink
    July 28, 2011 12:08 pm

    Politicians rarely, if ever, care about the “little people” and what we think. We’re going to have a very hard time getting through the money problem because there is a huge disconnect between the people who are supposedly representing us and the common folk.

  2. July 28, 2011 12:23 pm

    Interest Expense Fiscal Year 2011

    Jun $110,536,850,221.63
    May $30,858,726,707.77
    Apr $28,895,123,159.28
    Mar $24,460,282,823.69
    Feb $21,759,253,957.26
    Jan $21,122,729,715.18

    Those monthly checks are each in the billions. Over $237 billion since January 1st.

  3. July 28, 2011 12:24 pm

    $237 Billion is over four times Bill Gates net worth.

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