Tuesday, April 07, 2009

How Many Trillion Will That Cost?

Seems everyday someone is discussing a trillion dollars for this or that. We have heard "a trillion dollars" so often that we don't even blink any more. It wasn't that long ago when someone would say a billion and you would be taken back. I don't even see people flinch when someone points out that Obama's budget is $3.8 trillion. Other stories point to our debt rising to $10 trillion or 72.2% of our nations GDP. (United States — GDP: 13.84 Trillion)

It is time for a reality check.

The average home in America is worth $210,000. A trillion dollars would buy 4,761,904.76 homes. If these homes had families of 4, that would house 19,047,619, or 6.27% of our population. (Population of US: 303,824,640)

The average household income in the US is $50,740 according to 2007 information. A trillion dollars would have kept 19,708,316.91 from having to go to work this year. Since this is based on household income then we multiply by 1.65 and get 32,518,722.90 people who didn't have to work or 10.7% or our population. Wouldn't that make a serious dent in unemployment statistics?

The average new auto in America costs $28,400. A trillion dollars would buy 35,211,267.61 new cars. That is 14.04% of all the cars in the US. (estimated 250,851,833 registered passenger vehicles in the United States according to a 2006 DOT study)

A dollar bill is a unique piece of paper well recognized around the world. It currently measures 2.61 inches wide by 6.14 inches long, and the thickness is .0043 inches. If we were to lay a trillion of them end to end we would get a line 96,906,565.66 miles long. That would be 202.85 round trips to the moon. (avg distance from earth to moon is 238,857 miles)

If we laid them side by side, a trillion of them would make a line 41,193,181.82 miles long or 86.23 round trips to the moon.

If we simply stacked them neatly in a pile, a trillion of them would make a pile 67,866.16 miles high or 28.4% of the average distance to the moon.

If we were to cover an area laying them end to end side to side we would cover 41,059.44 square miles that is an area bigger then Kentucky and smaller then Tennessee.

I hope that this gives you some perspective of the size of a trillion dollars. The vast value of what we are talking about and returns the shock and deep breaths when you hear it. Don't let some politician try to treat this as a minor thing in American politics. We are talking real money and in this case really big debt.

So the next time you hear someone talking about the budget and tax dollars you can pull them aside and let them know what a trillion dollars looks like.

Vehicle study by year in US
Size of the States in the US in Square Miles

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the stats. Scary stuff.

1:29 PM, April 13, 2009  

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