A Billion Here, a Billion There—Pretty Soon, Real Money
By Jim Traficant
The word “billion” has become a much-used term. The government uses it in almost every press release. There’s stimulus billions, revenue billions, bailout billions, deficit billions and entitlement billions. The “billion” word has become a casual, loosely used term by Washington big shots. It’s so casual that dollars just seem to get lost in that huge morass of “billion-dollar” lingo.
The truth is, a billion is nothing to sneeze at. A billion is most significant once you categorize it in some comprehensible perspective. Let’s do just that:
A billion seconds ago, it was 1959.A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive. A billion hours ago was the Stone Age.
On the other hand, a billion dollars ago was only eight hours and 20 minutes ago, at the rate our current government is spending it.
You might consider the request now being made to Congress by the city of New Orleans. New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. As a result, New Orleans is asking Washington for $250 billion.
Exactly what does this number of 250 billion dollars represent? There are approximately 485,000 residents of New Orleans, which includes every man woman and child. Each of them would get $515,464, if the money was simply handed out.
Quantifying this $250 billion in another perspective, there are approximately 188,000 homes in New Orleans. Every home would get over $1.3 million. Taking it further, if each household was hypothetically a family of four, each family would get $2 million.
Does New Orleans need help? Yes. But, where do the limits begin? Who uses the calculators? Washington is so casual with $250 billion that is being thrown around—like a sort of number without roots. How are these billions provided?
You guessed it: Taxes. All kinds of taxes. Taxes at every level. Let’s list a few: Cigarette taxes, corporate income taxes, federal income taxes, federal unemployment taxes, food license taxes, fuel permit taxes, gasoline taxes, diesel taxes, inventory taxes, IRS interest charges (a tax on taxes), IRS penalties (more taxes on taxes), liquor taxes, luxury taxes, Medicare taxes, Social Security taxes, road usage taxes, telephone federal excise taxes, telephone federal universal service fee tax, telephone federal surcharge taxes, saving account interest taxes, freight taxes, export taxes, etc.
You see: From the womb to the tomb, we are taxed in every possible way at every possible angle. And don’t forget all of those surtaxes.
Not one of these taxes, listed above, existed 100 years ago. And, guess what, our nation was the most prosperous in the entire world. We had no national debt.
Families could raise the kids on one income. And no one had to dial “1” for English, even though we were a melting pot at the time.
Last week I detailed the cost and foolish blunders of our involvement in foreign wars. War is just a part of this dire economic crisis. Another major contributing factor to our debt is the cost in billions of illegal immigration.
That’s billions, not millions, here. Close to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year, by state governments. Over $2.2 billion each year is spent on food assistance programs to illegal aliens. Over $2.5 billion a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens. Over $12 billion a year is spent on primary and secondary education for children of illegal aliens who speak no English. Over $17 billion a year is spent for educating American-born children of illegal aliens. Over $90 billion a year is spent on illegal aliens for welfare and social services. Over $1 billion per year is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens. Over $200 billion a year is lost to U.S. workers in suppressed wages caused by illegal aliens.
In comparison, illegal aliens sent over $45 billion back to their home countries. That money is then spent in those foreign countries, which doesn’t help the U.S. In addition, the National Policy Institute estimates that deporting illegal aliens will cost American taxpayers over $338 billion.
A billion should not be mentioned so casually, folks. After all, a billion here and a billion there, really does add up. In fact, it already has. Get back at me!
James A. (Jim) Traficant, Jr. was born inYoungstown, Ohio on May 8, 1941. He received BS andMS degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He also received an MS from Youngstown State University in 1976. From 1981-1985 he served as sheriff of Mahoning County, prior to his election to the U.S. Congress in 1984. He was re-elected by overwhelming margins every year up until 2002 when, following his conviction on trumped up corruption charges, he was expelled from the House of Representatives. Donations of support may be sent to Mrs. Tish Traficant, 429 Main Street, Poland, OH 44514. Listen to Jim’s Saturday radio program from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time on WTAM 1100 in Cleveland, Ohio. You can also view it on WTAM.com. Click on the web cam button.
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(Issue # 24 & 25, June 14 & 21, 2010)