- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Trillion dollars can really tax the mind or U.S. taxpayers
Thinking of counting to a trillion one second per number? Better get started. It will take 31,688 years.
And tack on a few more years if you want to go for 1.35 trillion, the dollar estimate for the federal deficit in the current budget year.
The whole sum could be taken care of if every American, all 300 million of them, forked over $4,500.
Back in 1981, President Ronald Reagan, characterizing the national debt as it approached $1 trillion, commented that "a trillion dollars would be a stack of $1,000 bills 67 miles high." The debt, the accumulation of annual deficits, now stands at more than $12 trillion.
Put another way, the $1.35 trillion could pay for 40,000 players like Alex Rodriguez, whose $33 million salary in 2009 made him baseball's richest man.
Or think the $6.25 billion paid out by Goldman Sachs in salaries and bonuses in 2009 was a lot of money? The federal deficit could support the payroll of 216 such financial firms.
A trip around the world at the equator is about 25,000 miles. So 1.35 trillion miles would be a dizzying 54 million circuits around the globe.
A trillion is one followed by 12 zeros.
The Washington Monument, overlooking the deficit debate in the Capitol, stands about 555 feet high. Stacked end to end, it would take more than 2.4 billion monuments to reach 1.35 trillion feet. That's well more than double the distance from the Earth to the sun.
Being sat on by a 10,000-pound bull elephant would be a crushing experience. What about if 135 million pachyderms were piled up?
The Earth has been around for about 4.5 billion years. A long time until you consider that 1.35 trillion years equals 300 Earth lives. Looking at more modern history, 1.35 trillion seconds would take us back more than 40,000 years, when Neanderthals were using stones to make tools.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- N. Korean news agency: Kim Jong Un's uncle executed
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow