Summing It Up

The problem with large numbers is that most people can’t comprehend them.  Here, for example, is a summary of our national economy by John Hawkins:

When it comes to the deficit, this year the federal government is expected to take in 3.86 trillion dollars in revenue (which is iffy) and is expected to AT LEAST have a 3 trillion dollar deficit (it will probably be much higher). That’s on top of our current debt which is at $28.7 trillion. If you count the unfunded liabilities the government has such as payments for Social Security and Medicare, estimates vary, but it may very well be closer to 135 trillion dollars.

The problem with millions is that few people will ever be in direct contact with that number (unless they’re looking at the odds against winning a lottery).  With billions, that distance (and therefore ignorance of the scale) increases exponentially.  Trillions?  Fuggeddabahdit.

Fortunately, Hawkins comes to the rescue in his very next sentence:

To put this in terms that are easier to understand, imagine your Uncle Sam is making $100,000 per year, spending $200,000 per year, is already more than $700,000 in the hole, and has another $3,000,000+ that he’s promised to people.

Now that’s perfectly understandable.  And to make things worse, there’s the attitude of our beloved Gummint towards this looming catastrophe:

When you ask him about it, your uncle tells you that he’s rich and so he has no plans to EVER dramatically cut his spending as long as people will keep loaning him money.

So the Day of Reckoning approaches.

I wish I could offer some kind of solution or hope, but I can’t.  I can only suggest that we stock up on food and ammo.  Lots of both, but especially ammo.

Note:  Hawkins’s larger point in his post is that bankruptcy is a catalyst for revolution — and it may even be a larger catalyst than political differences.  He’s right.


  1. My only complaint in all of that is the word of the gov’t is taken as fact when it has shown time and again it is untrustworthy. Remember, it is criminal, lies habitually, and he never held accountable for any of its behavior.

    That $28.7 trillion debt for example.
    That is but a small fraction of the real debt, which is more than $200,000 trillion.

    That is a number that represents MORE than the value of the entire earth and everything contained there. It is an amount that can never be paid. The bus is off the cliff and in freefall.

  2. Glenn Beck did a rant on the collapse of “the Dollar as we know it” in his opening today.
    Yes, it is very important to maintain a proper back-up of food, ammo, and more ammo.

  3. The crazy part to me – in the crazy uncle example, just 5 years ago he was spending $100,000 a year. If he could roll his spending back to where it was just a few years ago, he’d at least stop sinking further into debt.
    It’s not like he can really point to what the additional spending is for, it’s all just waste and corruption.

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