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)