The numbers behind stimulus

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dear Editor,

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the recently signed stimulus bill will cost taxpayers a little more than three and a quarter trillion dollars over the next ten years. I think many people can’t even conceive of just how much money that is. Lucky for them we math nerds are around to provide a little perspective: A trillion is a one followed by 12 zeros 1,000,000,000,000.

For the cost of the stimulus package the government could:

Write every man, woman and child living in this country a check for almost $11,000. That’s $44,000 for a family of four.

Make 3.25 million Americans millionaires

 Pay $65,000 toward each and every personal mortgage. That amount could actually pay off every sub-prime mortgage in the country.

 Pay tuition, room and board for 4 years for 54 million students at an in-state public University (there are only about 16 million college students currently enrolled in colleges and universities across America and less than 75 million students in kindergarten through college.)

Fully fund every public elementary middle and high school in America for at least six years.

Give every American taxpayer a one year holiday from income taxes.

Those are impressive figures. They become scary when you consider that this money will have to be repaid, at a rate of about $35,000 each, by the roughly 90 million of us Americans who actually pay federal income taxes.

– Daniel Wallace, Clanton