800 Billion with a B

So, I did the math.  If there are 306,000,000 of us in this country and the government is spending $800,000,000,000 on “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,”  that works out to $2,600 per person, or about $15,000 and change for my family of six.  That’s a whole lot of money.

Did the government have this money sitting around somewhere in a piggy bank or an offshore account?  Or is that sort of an IOU and we’ll end up coughing up the cash one way or another?  My family already pays an extraordinary amount of taxes (we never get a refund back, ever and until recently, we paid quarterly taxes–nothing will make you feel the pain of taxes like writing out a large check to the government four times a year).  The idea of spending $800,000,000,000 kind of freaks me out.  And I mean that in a completely non-partisan way, of course.  I would be freaked out no matter who decided to spend that kind of cash.

(I just had to look it up again.  Surely it can’t be Billion with a B, right?  Oh, but it is.)

I have voted since I was 18 and paid taxes my whole adult life.  I’ve never really felt well-represented by my representatives, though, since it seems like they will do whatever they want just because they can.

I am alarmed at this gigantic, basically unread Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  I am alarmed by the free-fall of the stock market.

But what can a stay-at-home mom do about all that?  Nothing, really, but sweep the floor and cook dinner and wonder if a more thorough search under the couch cushions might net me $800,000,000,000.   (Yeah, that’s about as likely as the government actually having an $800,000,000,000 reserve.)

And that is my political post for the year.  (I was just about to rant–the site of Arianna Huffington on Jay Leno makes me feel argumentative, but I decided against it.  You’re welcome.)

8 thoughts on “800 Billion with a B

  1. I have gotten to the point where I just cannot read the paper or watch TV. I can raise my kids to have morals, and responsibilty, and ethics and honor and compassion.Maybe the next generation. My first inclination was to write : NOT! instead I will write: I hope, I hope.


  2. So far, this economic recovery bill (and related legislation) doesn’t SCARE me or INFURIATE me. I’m a little bit annoyed about the entire situation because I’ve been economically responsible and it bothers me that I should have to shoulder the burden when others haven’t been, but then again…I do realize that if a series of lawmakers (including the president) hadn’t passed legislation in the 30s that extended the government beyond measure, our country wouldn’t have made it. Those bills and laws were exceedingly controversial at the time, just as these are now, so I can’t help but wondering…maybe they are really necessary? Maybe I don’t know?

    I’m trying to give everybody the benefit of the doubt right now. I hope it turns out that they deserved it.


  3. I believe they’re using the tactic of “let’s worry about tomorrow next year.”

    The idea is that it’s easier for the US population to swallow than the notion that everyone’s going to have to hunker down and put forth some effort as well as think and cooperate to dig ourselves out.


  4. I am losing sleep between the federal government’s actions, and my state’s (California). We are going to get so reamed by taxes on both fronts. Yes, that money that the federal government is coughing up is actually OUR money, and we will be paying as will our children and grandchildren. I have lost faith in our government.


  5. I would vote to shut down the lenders and give the bail-out money to the people (me and you – you know – WE the people).

    Then, let the people be the judge of who is worthy to deal with the money.

    What I don’t like about the way it is being carried out is that the money seems to be going directly to the very same people who MADE the mess in the first place.

    But, what do I know? Not much, but at least I am willing to admit it!


  6. I’ve heard it’s going to be more like a trillion, as it pays out over the next couple years.
    It’s hard to believe so many Congressmen are so irresponsible. How can they vote on a bill with such a large impact without reading it?

    Our grandchildren will have lower standards of living, less freedom, and shorter life spans than we do.


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