By David Kittredge
The word trillion is being thrust upon us by our government officials as if these so-called experts are familiar with what the number even entails. In the late seventies, it was the word billion that we — the public — had to try to wrap our minds around, as our leaders began to frivolously toss the term about.
To put these numbers into perspective, it takes eleven-and-a-half days nonstop to count to a million, almost 32 years nonstop to count to a billion, and a little less than 32,000 years nonstop to count to a trillion.
As they spend our tax dollars by shoveling it into a conflagration of expenditure, they are at the same time telling us it is for our own good, like a car salesman enticing a buyer into a seven year loan for a new car. If the human mind can hardly grasp the idea of a $1,000,000,000,000, how is anyone going to monitor any fiscally responsible oversight of such mind boggling figures? Oh, don’t worry. What is a mere billion or so amongst friends?
Perhaps, we should keep a few of these political wastrels after class and have them count to a million in writing on the blackboard so that it would register in their minds the enormity of these figures. Of course, we would allow them to take time off to eat and sleep, and don’t forget the potty breaks, but the politicos shouldn’t need as many as normal folks because they are usually so full of it that the whites of their eyes are turning brown. No, we wouldn’t want to upset their constitutions as they would like to trifle with our Constitution. With these humanitarian breaks, it should only take about a month or so to reach the one million number count if they scribble for eight hours during each detention session. Then perhaps, they should write an essay describing their experience to imprint the concept indelibly in their minds. Hopefully, the next time they feel the urge to mention the term, trillion, it will become caught in their craw, as it should, and cause them to at least stutter before they utter such budgetary balderdash.
Will Rodgers once said: “The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” I have said for years that Congress should meet for only six months every two years, get real jobs to support themselves and purchase their own health care. After a few of my after-school black board sessions, they might start agreeing with me.
Congress is only in session about 160 days out of the year now, anyway, which is less than half a year and are they are paid an annual salary of $170,000 per person. This new schedule would cut the salaries in half to $85,000 yearly. If that wasn’t enough money, they could perhaps start a business with employees, or if the pay was adequate they could volunteer their unoccupied time in the service of the poor.
In times of real crisis, the legislators could fly back to Washington for emergency sessions. With this reality adjustment of time and responsibility we would hopefully have more well rounded and grounded individuals in service to us.
This more efficient scheduling would also cut out most of the foofaraw that goes on in D.C. in the form of junkets to overseas countries, lavish parties and weekend retreats on the taxpayer’s dime. That is what phones and Skype are for. I realize that sometimes business needs to be done face to face or travel to foreign countries is necessary but, these miscreants do not need to be carrying on like royalty at our expense. There are a multitude of mothers and children going hungry, even in our country. Essentially, what the self-crowned in Washington are saying to the downtrodden when they act so is: “Let them eat Twinkies.”
In February of this year, the U.S. national debt was $22,000,000,000,000. In 2018, the I.R.S. took in $3,300,000,000,000 in taxes. That is nearly seven times more monies as compared to what was taken in. I know that the cost of the lifestyles of our elected representatives is a drop in the bucket when compared to the total budget, but it is time they started to lead by setting a good example of fiscal responsibility.
Maybe it is time for the whole class to be kept after school in detention to have them write the “golden rule” 100 times on a sheet of paper.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”