America’s Finances in Simpler, More Personal Terms


America’s Finances in Simpler, More Personal Terms

In our age of blitzkrieg media we are bombarded daily with evidence—reports, columns and studies, facts and statistics, pie graphs, line graphs, bar graphs, charts and tables, and figures with seemingly infinite zeroes—detailing America’s horrifying financial state. If you’re anything like me, some of this makes sense and some of it doesn’t.

A friend and stalwart news-watcher recently e-mailed me the following explanation of America’s financial situation. It was originally published over at Townhall, and it exposes this historic crisis in simpler, more personal terms.

The following is the financial statement of the United States:

* U.S. tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000* Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000* New debt: $1,650,000,000,000* National debt: $16,571,000,000,000* Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000

Now, what if we remove some zeroes and pretend it’s an annual household budget?

* Annual family income: $21,700* Money the family spent: $38,200* New debt on credit card: $16,500* Outstanding credit card balance: $165,710* Total budget cuts so far: $385

Not sure about you, but if my budget looked like this I’d be deeply alarmed and already in the throes of a thorough reevaluation and overhaul. And even then, it’d probably be too late to save my family from ruin.