by T.M. Schoewe
Recently we read an article by Andy Tisch, co-chairman of Loews Corporation, wherein he says we need to get rid of the word “trillion.” We agree! He asks some good questions. For example, what seems bigger to you, $15.8 trillion or $15,772,177,351,447? Rounding them off, they are about the same. But really, doesn’t the first number seem much smaller, like something we can handle? You can get your head around the word trillion so we think we understand what we are looking at when we hear $15.8 trillion. In this case it is our National Debt.
When the Lord told us to look at the birds, of the million of them not one will fall to the ground without the Father’s knowledge. And when He told Abraham to look at the evening sky and count the stars, we seem to understand the word million. And even with our telescopes when we now can view billions of galaxies and stars, we seem to be able to comprehend a billion. But has anyone of us ever seen a trillion of anything? Maybe a truck hauling a trillion grains of sand! But as far as we know in all God’s creation we haven’t arrived to a trillion of anything we know except the American dollar!
Last year our nation spent $3.6 trillion on government services. About one of every three dollars was borrowed. That’s a lot of money. How much is a trillion dollars? Quoting Mr. Tisch, “a trillion dollars in $100 bills would weigh 22 million pounds! If you stack the $100 bills on top of each other you would have only 10 billion by the time you get as high as a commercial jetliner cruises. If you want to see a trillion Ben Franklins you need to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and keep on going another 678 miles high! Our national debt, at 15.8 times that amount would form a stack of $100 bills 10,712 miles high.”
This is probably why we have trivialized this enormous number and shortened it to a word that has only one more letter than its cousins “million” and “billion.” So let’s get rid of the word “trillion!” It is a unit that we do not fully appreciate. And if you want to use a number, give it its proper due. Write it out with all its zeroes, all twelve of them. So your $15.8 trillion is $15,800,000,000,000!
You know it used to be that a million dollars was a lot of money. Even our dictators like Chavez or Assad know that, and it’s why they must siphon off billions to put into their Swiss bank accounts so they won’t look like “poor dictators.”
And here is the point of this article. To keep on piling up our national debt is to put it on our children or our children’s children’s children, which will make their future worthless, worthless, worthless. It is still July and we are still celebrating our Independence! We are endowed with inalienable rights, among which is your vote. In November this nation will decide whether it will continue to go down the road of debt or will turn around and begin balancing its budget. This election is so important it calls for millions of God-fearing men and women and children to pray to the Lord of Nations that God’s will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven. And as to using the poor as a justification for greater spending, the Lord gave Judas a great answer which you will find in the gospel if you look.
P.S. Our English professor at St. Olaf in 1933 used to say “Things are in the saddle and are going to ride mankind to death.” And we say, God-fearing Americans are going to change this nation’s course this November.