May 3, 2012

Billions & Billions & Billions-- Oh My

 I had not heard from my good pal, Jumbo Feeney, in six months. Since the election is now only seven months away I was starting to harbor nervous thoughts about his well being. He always had plenty to say about most topics known to man, especially politics, so his silence was out of character. What was I ever thinking? He called last night and, as usual, was in mid-sentence by the time I had the phone next to my ear. "---and do you know---hey, Petie, you listening or what?"

"Jumbo, stop a second, will you. I just picked up the phone for crying out loud. You could at least wait until you hear me breathing or something."

"Fine Petie, fine. Well you're talking so you must be breathing so pay attention. You won't believe this. Okay, okay, you paying attention?"

"Yes Jumbo."

"Well, do you know what 16 trillion dollars means? It's crazy I tell ya---it's mind-boggling."

"Jumbo, please---stop! Hold on. What are you talking about?"

"Petie, Petie, 16 trillion. That's what I'm talking about. I just sat down and wrote it all down. Do you know how many millions make a billion? Do you?"

"Well, yeah. A thousand."

"Exactly Petie, a thousand million to make one billion. And these politicians talk about billions like it is pocket change."

"Well, you are sure right about that."

"You bet I'm right. It's not even their money--forget that, that's not the point. Anyway, think about this. If one thousand million equals one billion then one thousand billion equals one trillion, right?"

"Uh, yeah, I guess."

"No guessing, that's right. So it follows that  one million million or one million times one million equals one trillion. Hey Petie, you getting all this?"

"I think so, Jumbo. Yeah, I got it."

"So if the good old USof A has debt of 16 trillion dollars that means the government would have to take ALL the money that16 million millionaires have just to break even. And by the time they collected the money the interest would have made created more owed and it wouldn't be enough and it would add 16 million more people to the food stamp rolls. And we don't even have 16 million millionaires anyway.

"Jumbo, Jumbo, stop---you're giving me a headache."

"Yeah Petie. You and a lot of other people are gonna have headaches.. Gotta go. Call you next week."