I remember when a billion used to be a number so big nobody could comprehend it, though it is still a massive number.
According to Snopes.com 1 billion seconds equals 31.7 years. A billion seconds have elapsed since 1981.
One billion minutes is equal to 1,901 years — which would take us back, almost, to the time Jesus Christ roamed the Earth.
One billion hours is equal to 114,000 years — which would take us back to the Stone Age.
In more recent times, our inability to comprehend the sheer magnitude of 1 billion has been eclipsed by our inability to comprehend 1 trillion.
One trillion is equal to one thousand billion.
Our federal deficit has been averaging nearly $1 trillion since the collapse of 2008 — causing us to rack up more than $5 trillion in new debt.
In order to cover our nearly $4 trillion annual budget, the U.S. Treasury spends about $1 billion every two hours — accumulating $1 billion in new debt about every eight hours.
ABC’s Jake Tapper tried to simplify these incomprehensible numbers. He compared America’s finances to a typical American’s finances. By removing eight zeros from America’s $3.8 trillion budget, he came up with a sum of $38,000.
Now if you are a retiree, you are probably getting by OK if you are able to spend $38,000 a year — unless your finances are as messed up as America’s.
Though you are spending $38,000 annually, your income is only $29,000 — you are growing your debt by $9,000 every year.
What’s worse is that you already owe nearly $170,000 to creditors. Paying off that amount of debt with $38,000 in income would be hard under any circumstances.
But of course your income is $29,000, not $38,000, so you must borrow about $175 a week to keep up with your expenses.
In other words, the U.S. government is growing our debt by $175 billion a week, which is producing around $1 trillion in new debt every year.