Letter: A math lesson for politicians | VailDaily.com

Letter: A math lesson for politicians

I am convinced that the federal bureaucrats on both sides of the aisle have lost the handle on the numbers. Most people in the United States have a concept of $1 million ($1,000,000), and how much money that is. Representatives and senators deal with multiples of $1 billion ($1,000,000,000). Perspective: If I give them $1,000 today, and $1,000 tomorrow, and $1,000 the next day, how long will it take to pay off a debt of $1 billion? The answer is 2,737 years, 310 days.

The amount of $1 trillion adds three zeros and looks like this: $1,000,000,000,000. How long would it take to pay back a debt of that amount with $1 million per day? This would again require 2,737 years, 310 days to pay back.

According to reliable outlets, our national debt is around $27 trillion. If we pay back that debt with $27 million per day, it will take 2,737 years, 310 days to pay it off.

I hope that a math lesson for Congress would help put the debt in some perspective — and how dangerous continued wild spending is for our national security. This country cannot afford funding anything more than absolute necessity items — military, national defense, Social Security/Medicare as promised, and essential infrastructure are high priorities. We cannot afford to “bail out” cities and states who have not managed their budgets, hoping for federal assistance. Foreign aid must only be given out in the most dire of circumstances to assist only in our own national security.

We will not see the government completely recover, in our lifetime, the severe debt load we have acquired, with both sides of the aisle at fault. The first step to recovery is to identify the magnitude of the problem.

Walt Olsen


Support Local Journalism