By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2012
A friend recently emailed me the following with regard to the “fiscal cliff” and the so-called debt ceiling — which really doesn’t have a ceiling at all.
My friend didn’t write it, and I couldn’t find who did, but it’s the most concise and meaningful explanation about the biggest problem facing our country I’ve seen to date. It was titled, “Fiscal cliff put in a much better perspective.”
Caption: U.S. taxpayers taking a walk with Congress as their shepherd.
Lesson No. 1:
U.S. tax revenue (money collected): $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget (money spent): $3,820,000,000,000
Difference between spending and revenue added to the national debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt (what we owe, but not including all liabilities such as Social Security): $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove eight zeros and pretend it’s a family’s household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family will spend if they want to keep living a lifestyle beyond its means: (more…)