I’m no politician. I don’t even do office politics.
Having said that, I’m having a real “WHAT” moment after reading a news article from the hill.com. According to the article, the Senate is going to have to raise the federal debt limit to well beyond $12.1 trillion by October… just about four weeks from now. This is “a move viewed as necessary despite protests about the record levels of red ink”.
But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in the article that “failing to raise the cap could lead the nation to default in mid-October, when the debt is expected to exceed its limit.”
To quote a famous movie, “That would be bad. Okay, alright, important safety tip.”
Before I rant on, though, take a moment to click this link to see what a single trillion dollars looks like, starting from a $100 bill.
Did you see it? Double stacked palettes of $100 bills. But that’s just A billion. Imagine 12 stacks of that.
But that’s not the “WHAT” moment.
A math whiz on another website pointed out that the biggest surplus ever was 236 billion, way back in the Clinton/2000 era. No surplus of that magnitude has ever happened before or after. But it did happen once, so you can argue it could happen again.
The thing is, even if the spending stops right now, it would still take over 52 years of $230 billion surpluses to pay off 12.1 trillion.
12.1 trillion divided by 230 billion = 52.6086957.
Yeah. Time for a coffee.