04 December 2008

The crustymailbag

A couple of weeks ago, I sent a letter to Senators Bond and McCaskill and Congressman Cleaver stating my position and requesting theirs regarding the Big 3 bailout. I've finally gotten one response. It was from Senator McCaskill. 
She writes: "It is important to note that the $25 billion proposal would be carved out of funding Congress has already approved. Not only would this auto bailout not cost any additional money, the loan would have to be paid back."
Jebus, Claire! It won't cost any additional money? If out of the kindness of your heart you scratched up $5000 to loan me because I was drowning in debt, then found out I spent $1000 of it on a new TV and video games, is that okay because it didn't cost you any additional money — and anyway I'm going to pay it back?
Fellow taxpayers, 25 billion is a pretty difficult number to comprehend. The current estimate of the age of the universe is about 14 billion years. The moon is about 25 billion inches away. If I went into my front yard and stacked 25 billion $1 bills, my stack would be over 1,578 miles tall. (This will be tricky, because the atmosphere only goes up 300 miles.)
If that stack tipped over in a northwest-by-west direction, folks on the other side of Vancouver would be picking up dollars.
But friends, that's not additional money because it's "carved out" of the $850 billion Congress "already approved."
So I'll only stack $825 billion, having likewise "carved out" the portion above. That stack is 52,083.33 miles tall. If I stood at the base and shot a bullet (abandoning the law of physics), it would take 26 hours to get to the top. If that stack tipped over it would encircle the globe. More than twice. 
Taken together, that's a ton of money. Actually, it's over 921,036 tons of money, which is about the amount of steel in both of the Twin Towers, plus all 11 US aircraft carriers in service. If you filled residential garbage trucks to capacity with dollar bills, it would take almost 92,104 trucks to carry it.
In all likelihood, they might as well.

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