What Eight Hundred Billion Dollars Looks Like
My suggestion for 2008 word-of-the-year?
Once unfathomably large, we now toss around billion with conversational ease. Billion is in the news a lot more, too.
My kids were listening to the proposed stimulus package being discussed on the radio.
They asked me what $800B looked like.
The familar buck.
One hundred dollars.
Ten thousand dollars.
One million dollars, below.
This is one hundred million dollars.
Ten billion dollars here.
One hundred billion dollars. Each tiny pink box is a hundred mil.
And eight of those. Here’s eight hundred billion dollars.
I think I got that right. Hard not to drop a zero.
Every $100B expenditure works out to $330 dollars per citizen — each man, woman, child, and baby. So my pro-rata portion of the proposed $800b stimulus plan is about $2,650.
Me, wife, and two kids: $10,600.
$800B is the stimulus plan. I’m not counting the $700B TARP — another $9300 obligation for my family — because there’s a chance the Treasury gets the money back, or even turns profit on it. Also not counting the Detroit bailout.
My head spins.