Saturday, February 14, 2009

How big is it?...

Regardless of your political party or ideological leanings, the notion of the federal government spending $2 trillion, adding to the national debt of nearly $11 trillion already, should make you stop and consider the staggering size of our national tab.

If the irony of using debt-based spending to solve a problem caused by debt-based spending has escaped you (I doubt it has), perhaps these fun facts will put things into perspective:

* If you spent $1 every second, you'd have to keep spending for 412,000 years to get to $13 trillion. That means you'd have to start shortly after the time human beings first starting using stone tools and fire to get to $13 trillion today.

* $13 trillion in one dollar bills weighs 28 million pounds. That's as much as 87 blue whales or 462 Statues of Liberty.

* If you laid 13 trillion one-dollar bills end-to-end they'd reach from the earth to the sun and back...five times over. That's 946 million miles of greenbacks.

The amount we're looking at now—roughly $2 trillion between Treasury Secretary Geithner's new bank bailout plan and President Obama's stimulus package—isn't small potatoes either. So what is $2 trillion?

* $2 trillion is bigger than the entire Gross Domestic Product of our neighbor to the north, Canada. In fact, according to the IMF, only Japan, Germany, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy have bigger total economies than the combined bailout/stimulus plan—all other countries on Earth have economies smaller than $2 trillion per year.

Then there's the interest on this staggering debt, which isn't exactly small. Paying the interest on the current $10.7 trillion debt cost Americans $451.1 billion last year alone. How big is that?

* That's $1478 dollars in interest for every man, woman, and child in the United States.

* That's bigger than the annual budgets of New York ($121.1 billion), California ($111.1 billion) and Texas ($83.8 billion) combined.

If you're scared, upset, or disgusted by this, you can do something. Visit and tell your Congressman and the President what you think of the bank bailout and stimulus.

[Normally I would post a commentary and simply link to this information online; however, this time no commentary from yours truly is even necessary.]

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Southern Humor

A man from Portland, Oregon decided to write a book about churches in the United States. He started by flying to San Francisco and worked his way east.

He began his project by taking photographs and making notes at a very large church in San Francisco. In that church, he saw a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with the sign next to it which read, "Calls: $10,000 a minute." He sought out the pastor and asked about the phone and the sign.

The pastor answered that the golden phone was, in fact, a direct line to heaven and, if the man paid the price, he could talk directly to God. The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way.

He visited churches in Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and around the United States. At each and every one he found more phones with the same sign. At each and every one he also received the same answer from each pastor.

When he arrived in Kentucky, he stopped to visit a large church in La Grange. He had become accustomed to see the phone in each church and was not surprised that this church had the customary golden telephone too. He was surprised, however, by the sign next to this one: "Calls: 35 cents." Shocked at the difference in price from all the other churches, he asked to talk to the pastor.

"Reverend, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I have found this golden telephone. In each church I was told that the phone provides a direct line to God. In the other churches, however, the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads only 35 cents a call. How is that possible when all the other churches charge so much more?"

The pastor smiled and replied, "Son, you're in the south now. This is God's country. It's a local call."


No blog post containing humor of the stereotypical Southern kind is complete without at least one church lady railing against modern, unchristian-like clothing. Enjoy!

[Thanks for sending these my way, Mom. You always seem to know when I need a good laugh.]

And finally, let's end this post of Southern silliness with a piece of video fun from You Tube that uses one of the best songs to come out of the South in years, courtesy of Southern Culture on the Skids.

[Thanks, David, for introducing me to these guys years ago!]