Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Which is greater $1 trillion or $990 billion?

Ok, most of you reading this blog know that $1 trillion is $10 billion dollars more than $990 billion. But, which number LOOKS bigger when it's spelled out like that?!?

When most people hear millions, billions, trillions, their eyes glaze over. Those numbers are really too big for most people to think about. So, I was thinking... how can we help others to understand?

Here are some options I came up with to resolve these issues and allow the American people to be truly educated and informed:

  1. I think news media should be required to spell it out. When the government talks about a $1 trillion dollar deficit, they should be required to write out $1,000,000,000,000.00 so that people can see all the zeros. So, now when you say that you are cutting $56 million from the $1 trillion dollar deficit it would look like this:


    - _____56,000,000


  2. Or, the government budget offices should be required to use analogies so that the common folk could understand and see it as it is... their money. In the above example, they could have us imagine that we were making $50,000 per year and the drastic cuts that the government is talking about would amount to you cutting $0.30 from your spending... or a person making $100,000 scraping together a way of saving $0.60.

Well, I don't think the government or media will be honest with us. So how about each of you doing your part? When numbers come out from Congress or the White House, let's all try to break it down to numbers that we can wrap our heads around.

If you're a visual person, check out this short YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWt8hTayupE.

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