It’s impossible for the human mind to adequately grasp how much a trillion dollars really is. So here’s Jerry Pachelo from New Mexico public media to help us out.
A billion dollar bills laid end to end would stretch 96,900 miles, winding around the Earth nearly four times. A trillion dollars laid in the same manner would stretch for 96,906,656 miles, a distance farther than the sun. If you laid one billion dollars side by side like tile, they would cover about four square miles. A trillion dollars laid out the same way would cover approximately 3,992 miles, or 1,000 square miles larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Finally, how long would it take to spend each amount? If you spent $40 per second, around the clock, it would take you 289 days to exhaust a billion dollars. If you did the same thing with a trillion dollars, it would take you 792.5 years to go broke.
Multiply any one of those trillion-dollar analogies by 11 and you’d have the amount of new spending Joe Biden is planning on asking Congress to authorize.
Biden’s new spending is a nightmare for conservatives, libertarians, and any sane, rational human being.
Big-ticket new items include $1.4 trillion to expand Obamacare; $2 trillion on his version of a Green New Deal; jacking Social Security and Supplemental Security Income by $1 trillion; and goosing spending on preschool, K-12, and higher education by $1.5 trillion. Biden has also signed on to a $3.3 trillion stimulus spending plan pushed by House and Senate Democrats.
All of this new spending would be layered on top of an existing annual federal budget that has swelled to nearly $7 trillion in fiscal year 2020, from a record-high yet relatively cheap $4.4 trillion in 2019.
Well, we’ll just tax the rich and get close to balancing the budget, right?
Biden has laid out $3.6 trillion in tax hikes over the coming decade, resulting in what Riedl says is “the largest permanent tax increase since World War II.” Much of the new revenue would come from boosting corporate income taxes back to what they were before Republicans lowered them during Trump’s first year in office. Yet despite all the hikes, Biden would still manage to increase the national debt (and thus depress long-term economic growth) by about $5.6 trillion between 2021 and 2030, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
This is assuming that the tax increases will bring in what Biden and the Democrats promise they will bring in. In fact, they never ever do. Just ask the French, who tried the “supertax” a decade ago. It failed miserably. Then finance minister, now president, Emmanuel Macron, called it “Cuba without the sun.”
But because they’re left-wing radical fanatics, they have convinced themselves that this time it will work. For sure. Presto! I don’t think even Bullwinkle will be able to pull a couple of trillion dollars out of that hat.
Worst still, Nick Gillespie points out the obvious: along with the new spending will come thousands of new regulations that will kill the economy.
Analysts at the Hoover Institution calculate, according to Reason‘s Billy Binion, “that over the next decade, these changes would prompt the economy to shed 4.9 million jobs and the gross domestic product to drop $2.6 trillion.” And in the year 2030, “U.S. consumption would be down $1.5 trillion and median-income households would make $6,500 less.”
This isn’t a reduction in growth. These are lost dollars, disappeared down the government rathole, that can’t be recovered. On top of the damage from the lockdowns — and potential lockdowns under Biden — it may finish the United States as a major economic power.
Yes, but at least the economy will be “fairer.”
Shared scarcity is the best Biden can offer — and that’s if his spending spree doesn’t trigger a rise in interest rates that would devastate the world economy as well as ours. There won’t be a “depression” — too many safeguards in place for banks and large companies. But a severe recession is not out of the question and whatever recovery we would be experiencing will disappear under an avalanche of new spending and new regulations.
Democrats appear willing to accept these risks because of their desire to transform the U.S. economy, end racism, end sexism, end all the other odious “isms” that their aggrieved constituencies demand be removed from American life. Biden can’t do it in four years. But watch him try.