Monday, March 2, 2009

Money, money, money makes the world go around



If you received $1,000,000 every day starting on the day Jesus Christ was born, which for argument’s sake and to make calculations easier let us say occurred on January 1 of year 1 of the Christian era (it did not), you would still not have received as much money as the U.S. Congress voted to spend in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus bill) that President Obama signed into law on February 17th.

I’ll prove it to you. There are 365 days in a year and 365 times $1,000,000 per day equals $365,000,000 and $365,000,000 per year times 2008 years equals $732,920,000,000 as of December 31, 2008, except every four years is a leap year when an extra day, February 29th, is added, and there have been 2008 divided by 4, or 502 leap days in our time period, so add 502 million dollars for a total of $733,422,000,000 as of December 31, 2008, except that in century years (1700, 1800, 1900, etc.) no leap day is added, so take away 20 days for the 20 century years or $20,000,000 for a total of $733,402,000,000 as of December 31. 2008, except that in century years that are divisible by 400 (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 2000) the extra day is inserted anyway, so add five days, or $5,000,000 for a total of $733,407,000,000 as of December 31, 2008, and since today, March 2, 2009, is the 61st day of 2009, add sixty-one million more dollars ($61,000,000) to the total to bring your total up to date. Please note that these calculations do not take into account the fact that several days were removed when the world changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, nor do they take into account the fact that there were no U.S. dollars to be given out on January 1 of the year 1 of the Christian era, nor do they take into account that leap days may not have been added every four years since the year 1 of the Christian era, but it’s close enough for our purposes. So you would have received, give or take a few million, a total of $733,468,000,000 as of March 2, 2009. Wasn’t that simple?

As Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois once said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus bill) that President Obama signed into law on February 17th will disburse $787,000,000,000 to various and sundry projects for various and sundry reasons. This means that on top of the $733,468,000,000 you already received you could keep on receiving $1,000,000 per day for the next 146 years and some odd months and still not have received as much money as the U.S. Congress voted to spend in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus bill) that President Obama signed into law on February 17th.

I don’t know about you, but I could have used a little of that money.

With $787,000,000,000 at its disposal -- created out of thin air, as it were -- the U.S. Congress could have voted to give every man, woman, and child in the United States (the current population is approximately 305,000,000) the sum of $2,580.32 -- a husband and wife with no children at home would have received $5,160.64 and a family of four would have received $10,321.28 -- and our economy would have been stimulated in the way each household chose to stimulate it. Instead, the U.S. Congress in its infinite wisdom voted to give a $400 tax credit to single taxpayers and an $800 tax credit to married taxpayers. [Update: And, as David Barlow of Ephraim, Utah, kindly pointed out, a one-time, lump-sum payment of $250 to anyone receiving Social Security. --RWP]

Aren’t they generous? And isn’t representative democracy wonderful?

(The sudden and inexplicable presence of the spirit of Billy Ray Barnwell assisted in the production of this post)

10 comments:

Putz said...

you took all that time and energy just to point out how wonderful big O IS and look at all the math you had to know just to start on this problem...appreciate you and that big 250 chec i am getting personnaly from my hero, one time only bailout stimolous package for me me david putz...now don't be like my son tony and tell me that i am many times over paying for it in taxes etc...i don't need that from you

rhymeswithplague said...

David - Look a little closer and you may be able to discern that I was not pointing out how wonderful big O is.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Veddy interrrresting, RWP. However, as the boss told me when I calculated how little I was earning per hour under our bank's "Chinese Overtime" rules, "You have too much time on your hands." :)

Rosezilla said...

Ugh, no wonder I don't care anything about money... too much math!

rhymeswithplague said...

Pat - Please elaborate on the rules of "Chinese Overtime" in the banking industry. I have never heard the term before!

Tracie - You might as well say you don't care anything about breathing... too much air!

jinksy said...

I probably know more about bong trees than I do about the American economy, plus I can think of more melodious voices, should I wish to listen to the Owl and the Pussy Cat, although I have respect for Bob Dylan songs which punctuated my earlier years. Maybe I should go away and come back when you are full of the joys of Spring, and not so hung up on pecuniary matters so alien to my mind and wallet! x

Rosezilla said...

Well, think about it, which is more valuable - air to breathe or money to spend? And yet air is free. Money is just a pale shadow of true blessings.

Dr.John said...

I just loved your explanation.

Jeannelle said...

That math story problem is absolutely mind-boggling. Thanks for working it out for us.

rhymeswithplague said...

Thank you, thank you all for your comments, especially those I neglected to thank previously:

Jinksy - Welcome to my world! Please don't go away; the joys of spring should be here any day now. I agree with you about Donovan's voice, by the way, but Luciano Pavarotti died before recording "The Owl and the Pussycat" for YouTube.

Dr. John - It was rather thorough, wasn't it?

Jeannelle - Don't thank me, thank the spirit of Billy Ray Barnwell.