‘Trillion’ is the new billion [update 3]
The Obamessiah has been busy – but even in his busiest moment the country’s chequebook is never far from reach. Fresh from his overtures last week to Iran and Hezbollah early last week, then demonising his new scapegoats (in the form of the AIG bonus recipients), he moved on over the weekend to promise a trillion dollar golden shower last week. All hail the Messiah.
Yes, the Sainted One is going to fix America’s banking system with the balm of yet another trillion dollars to be bestowed on the American banking system, this time to bless the so called “toxic assets” – you know, the ones Henry Paulson promised to “fix.” The new plan is that the Messiah will do what Paulson couldn’t by the benison of his mere touch, performing thereby the miracle of transforming them from “toxic” to “asset” by willpower alone –- with the assistance of one trillion dollars that you and your grandchildren will be paying off for some decades to come.
All hail the Great Leader!
Leaving aside for the moment the impossibility in this world of such miracles coming to pass in the desired manner, notice how quickly we’ve become inured to news of another trillion dollar spending spree.
A trillion has become the new billion – which is certainly what’s going to happen to the purchasing power of one billion dollars under the weight of all the new paper Ben ‘Helicopter’ Bernanke is pumping out at the Messiah’s behest.
A billion dollars is already a big number. Says Bernard Darnton,
People don’t understand the word ‘billion.’ It sounds like ‘million,’ which means ‘quite a lot,’ and ‘billion’ also means ‘quite a lot’ – maybe a bit more. But the difference is vast. A million dollars is what you’d get earning the average wage for twenty years. A billion dollars is what you’d get if you won Lotto every week for twenty years.
And a trillion dollars is what you’d get if you won Lotto every week for twenty thousand years.
That’s a long time. Almost as long as it will take to pay off Obama’s debt.
Let’s look at it another way.
Here’s one million dollars worth of one-hundred dollar bills:
Here’s one billion:
And here’s one trillion dollars:
Those pallets are double-stacked, to make it easier to see. And that little dot in the bottom left corner? No, that’s not a fly spot on your screen, that’s your man. And by the way, the deficit in the Obamessiah’s big-spending budget – even before this latest announcement, was projected to be 9.3 of those double-stacked football-fields of cash over the next decade:
That’s not just a truckload of money. It’s not even a warehouse-load. There is not a building or a fleet of trucks in the world that would hold that amount of cash. Perhaps if you committed yourself to shovelling it all into the Grand Canyon, you’d find a big enough hole to store it all (and that, to be fair, would be a much better use for it).
This is a president who, in February – just days after announcing a $787 billion stimulus package -- signalled he would “pivot quickly” to address the exploding budget deficit, scheduling a "fiscal-responsibility summit" to “put pressure on politicians to address the country's surging long-term debt crisis.” As Jeff Perren said at the time,
I'm beginning to wonder if Obama's Progressive pragmatism has led him to an actual psychotic break. Now, now he's worried about the Federal debt and the deficit? After pushing for the largest theft of future taxpayer wealth in history, only a little more than a third of which conceivably has anything to do with the economic crisis?
The “miracle” the Messiah is hoping for is still predicated on the failed Keynesian notion – one that has never worked anywhere – that throwing whole Grand Canyon-loads of money at the problem will fix it. But here’s a question for Washington's Keynesians, asked by Jeff Jacoby:
If uninhibited deficit spending is the key to economic growth, how could the Bush administration's galloping budget increases and unbroken string of deficits have left the economy in recession? If Keynes was right, why didn't the enormous growth of government outlays stop the Great Depression in its tracks? Federal spending exploded under Herbert Hoover and exploded even more under Franklin Roosevelt, during whose first two terms the federal budget more than doubled. Where was the "stimulus" such furious expenditure should have produced?
The answer today’s Keynesians always give (people like alleged economists Paul Krugman and Brad de Long), is that the`avalanche of spending under previous regimes was not enough. Not enough! The deficit spending under Roosevelt indebted two generations of Americans, and still failed to lift it out of the slump. But it wasn’t enough. The misnamed “stimulus” packages the Japanese tried in the nineties to rescue their own economy, producing deficits making it the most indebted country in the developed world, didn’t do the job either. They too weren’t enough. No stimulus, anywhere ever, has ever been enough in hindsight. Which leads Tom Woods to ask in the latest Free Radical:
What would be enough, then? A quadrillion dollars? A googol dollars? Infinity minus one dollars? It’s be interesting to know what “stimulus” figure might make a Keynesian declare, “Now that’s too much!"
Anybody have an answer? Before your great-great-great grandchildren have to pick up the tab too?
UPDATE: Ed Cline takes on Obama’s rapid destruction of the once prosperous and productive United States: “As on the popular TV program, ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ President Barack Obama is overseeing the demolition of the remnants of a republic that upheld individual rights and of the construction of a socialist “republic.“ Read it all here: Obama's “Extreme Makeover” of America.
UPDATE 2: As if to prove I haven’t got what it takes to be US Treasury Secretary (but how has, apart from maybe Bernie Madoff), I had to amend the pictures of that Grand Canyon-load of dosh above. Silly me, I’d confused a billion for a hundred-billion. Easy mistake to make, what?
UPDATE 3: Dinther reckons that the area covered by those $100 bills is 10000 square kilometers! He’s made a Google Earth model that you can view in Google Earth. Keep zooming in until you see the dollar bills (which is bound to be a metaphor for something extravagant.).