Thursday, March 26, 2009

What Obama's $3.6 trillion spending plan could buy:

$3.6 trillion dollars is a lot of money. People throw that number around a lot because it is the amount Obama wants for his pet projects (okay, for the budget. Still...).

Just for some sense of what that amount is:

If you used that money to buy houses at $100,000 a piece for families in the US, you could put 38% of the entire US Population into houses that they would own outright. That is, you could buy 36 MILLION houses for people. 36 MILLION families would have a permanent home and be able to use their hard-earned cash on the economy instead of on failing house payments and taxes to pay for cabinet members who don't pay their own taxes. People could afford their own health insurance and education at private schools.

Oh, but a $100,000 house isn't a very good house, you say? Well, let's take the median house price at the end of last year, or $180,000, and assume the government has to pay that much for houses, on average, to give to citizens. 20 MILLION families would get a house. A real house. Here in Vegas, for $180,000 you can get a 2700 square foot house on half an acre.

Not that I advocate giving houses away--I don't think that kind of freebie leads to safe, productive neighborhoods. People treat better things they work hard for (is that why pregnancy and childbirth are so darn difficult?).

It's just something to think about.

Oh, and I realize the entire $3.6 trillion isn't just for Obama's pet projects, but also for things that benefit all of us, like roads.

Here's the kicker: the total bailout cost is looking to actually be worse than that.

From "The U.S. government has launched an unprecedented array of actions to salvage the economy and stabilize the financial sector that could put up to $10.926 trillion of taxpayers' money at risk." (


That would buy 60,900,000 houses. Almost 61 MILLION houses. Nice houses. 2700 square feet on half an acre in Las Vegas houses. It would put 194,271,000 family members into their own homes. That is 63.5% of the entire US Population. You want to go by households? Census data indicates that in 2007 there were about 105,000,000 households in the US. Almost 11 trillion dollars could buy outright more than half of the houses those households live in. Possibly all of them if we allowed for the fact that some people live in $30,000 properties and apartments.

Again, I'm NOT advocating giving houses to everyone in the US.

I'm just saying....we're spending it anyway. And instead of helping families with it, we're giving it to stupid/corrupt businesses and organizations that are handing it over to foreign institutions, and to organizations that caused the problems in the first place. AND, what's more, it's not helping the economy at all. In fact, I suspect giving everyone in the nation a house would actually help the economy more. Again, I realize the problems, and am not proposing it.

Just trying to give you a little perspective on what the government is spending. For more perspective, reports that only 2,330,483 houses are actually in foreclosure right now. At the median home price from December, it would only have cost the government $419,486,940,000, or about $420 billion dollars, to pay for all those houses and get the banks out of trouble that way. I wonder how that would have affected people's ability to get loans? Cuz that's what's been holding the economy back all along.... Maybe that's the bailout we should have invested in.

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