November 23, 2009

What Does $2.2 Trillion Buy You These Days?

Cap and Trade - the government counts it as revenue, but to the public it's a tax, and according to bill, "A “cap-and-trade” program would generate a total of $645.7 billion by 2019".  Then there's the $787 billion from the ARRA recovery clunker. And the $410 billion Omnibus bill that passed. And the roughly $1 trillion dollars to be spent on the health care reform bill if it ever passes.  All of that is coming out of your wallets.  Or in large part, more likely your children and grandchildren's wallets to pay back the Chinese with dollars that will require interest on top of it, with American dollars that will surely be devalued by that time.  No doubt the total amount will be more than doubled by the time it gets paid off, if ever.

But let's be unrealistically conservative and say that these costs are completely static.  They represent $2.843 trillion dollars in new costs to the American taxpayer in just 10 months on the job for the new Congress, Senate and President.  They must be proud. I say that because they seem to want to keep doing more. That works out to $284 billion dollars in new gouging of Americans PER MONTH so far. Or $9.5 billion PER DAY. President Bush at his worst created an unholy deficit of $400 billion.  We thought that was bad.

Gee America, I hope you're getting your money's worth.  Let's look only at the spending portion of that money - $2.2 trillion.

What could $2.2 trillion dollars do if spent in other ways?  Here's some back-of-the-napkin math.  Feel free to do some math of your own and contribute some ideas in the comments section.

  • It could pay for the entire Gross Domestic Product of Russia, with the Omnibus bill left over to spare.

  • China is building a high speed rail system (bullet trains) with a total length of track of 16,000 miles, for a cost of $300 billion.  For that price the President could have built 117,333 miles of track for high speed trains.  In China the project created 110,000 construction jobs - the U.S. job would create over 800,000 jobs.

  • Pay for NASA at it's historical budget rate, for the next 146 years.

  • Pay off (if that were possible) 38% of the public portion of the national debt as it stood in 2008

  • China's Three Gorges Dam cost anywhere from $25 billion (officially) to $75 billion (estimated).  The dam generates 18.2 million kilowatts of power.  At an average of  $50 billion For the money Obama has spent, the United States could have built 44 of these dams, providing over 800 million kilowatts of power for the country.  That is, assuming there were enough rivers to dam up like that. 

  • Alternatively, a nuclear power plant costs anywhere from $3 to $10 billion to build (estimates vary).  At the highest end of that scale, the country could build 220 nuclear power plants that generate say 837 MegaWatts (as in the case of Three Mile Island) each.  That represents 184,140 new Megawatts of power.  If a small city of 50,000 needs 3 MegaWatts per day, and the U.S. population is 306 million, the country apparently requires roughly 18,360 MW of power per day. That's one tenth of what could be produced by adding new nuclear power.

  • Based on Market Capitlization as at September 2008, the U.S. government could buy up 5.5% of all publicly traded companies in the world

  • Based on 2006 census data, purchase 10.8% of all real estate in the entire United States or 94% of all real estate in China.

That's just a few examples. How much oil drilling could the nation do?  How much of a national border fence or wall could be built along the Mexican border?  The point is that it is an enormous amount of money. It is beyond the scope of what is needed.  And because these new bills are coming fast and furious, there's no time to question any of them.  Just like none of them are likely to be well thought out.  But Rahm Emmanuel's theory of not letting a crisis go to waste is serving another Democrat purpose - it's keeping any reasonable questioning, any opposition groups from having time to evaluate the spending.  Each one is more egregious than the previous, so none get the attention they deserve.

Voters should be howling mad at this.

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