Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I like mine toasty brown, not burnt

With the economic stimulus package now starting to hit bank accounts nationwide, we got into a discussion at work today about the national debt and the fact that this rebate is increasing it substantially.

In a quest to learn more about our national debt, I stumbled on an extremely sobering website maintained by a gentleman named Ed Hall. But before I send you there, notice what happens if you press the F5 key on your keyboard or click the browser refresh button on his website.

Ready? Click here.

That's right, it accumulates at approximately $30,000 per second, which ironically is the same amount that the web site says it would take each and every citizen of the United States to contribute if all 304 million of us were to help pay it off (although that includes everybody - children, retired and all). But if we did, we would have to hurry since that payoff number continues to rise every few minutes as well.

In other words, I could donate $30,000 right now, and in 1 second it would be eaten up and spent. Now that's encouraging.

Ed provides an excellent FAQ page here, with a pie chart showing who owns the debt, explanation of Debt vs Deficit, and detailed history of how it has accumulated over time. Here's one picture that is pretty clear.

And this site, Treasury Direct, provides facts and answers to other specific questions about the makeup of the national debt. You'll find a lot of serious information here, there's no question about it. But I was surprised to find that they actually have a sense of humor as well. I mean they are kidding when they list this question and answer. Right?

How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?

Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it is a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

Attn Dept G
Bureau Of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188
Man, those people crack me up!

So folks, it looks like we have a choice. We can either do nothing and let the national debt continue to increase at a rate of $30,000 per second, or we can make a donation. OR - to be more efficient, we can simply throw dollar bills into our backyard fire pits and roast marshmallows over them.

At least then they would provide some benefit.

* * * * *

Need a laugh after reading this? Stop on over to humor-blogs.com


Ed said...

Hey, for fun you should have done a correlation of republican vs democrat presidental time for the time period where it shoots up the worst (1980 to present)...

My advice...move to New Zealand or Belize while you still can.

Alice said...

Way to bring me down Jeff. Eye-opening.

damon said...

Maybe that's what that clown was going to do with that 360 billion dollar check he tried to cash!

Smores for me Jeff.

cathouse teri said...

I love the term "economic stimulus." Ooooo.. it makes me feel so stimulated! That George Bush Administration sure knows how to turn a girl on!

I'm going to spend all my money, and if the whole world falls apart, then I won't have much to lose! Yay for my great financial theory! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, and here was me worrying about my credit card bill

yellojkt said...

And that little roll where it looks like it's about to top out at 6 trillion? End of the Clinton Administration.

Dubya is the one that sent it back heading towards the stratosphere. The party of fiscal responsibility.

April said...

Jeff, you actually put this on the internets? Dude, nice knowing you!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

ve - No way. I'm not the type to express my political views here. Oh, wait...

alice - Sorry. Just doing my part to make sure we're all in the know.

damon - That story was a riot. I like the fact that the teller was "suspicious." Let's see... someone's trying to cash as $360B check. Hmmm, ya think?

teri - Ok, but I'll blame you for the financial collapse of the United States government. I hope you can handle the guilt!

dan - Someone needs to cut up Washington's credit card.

yellojkt - Well, I can't say the Iraq war has helped lower the debt any, that's for sure.

april - What? Should I worry that Cheney is going to shoot me in the face or something?

Amie Adams said...

And eight short years ago we had a surplus...

cathouse teri said...

Guilt an emotion of mine, never is.

yoo hoo said...

...we're gonna need some more sticks for roastin.

Jake Titus said...

Thanks so much for including the address. I really want to do my part. Let me juat pull out my checkboo....shit! I left it at home. Well, maybe next year.

Kathy said...

Jeff -- I think I might send in a check to help reduce the debt, for no other reason than I want to see if "Dept. G" sends me a thank you note.

Doozie said...

That just made me want to go out and bury my own self in a shallow grave

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

mamma - That's true, we did have a budget surplus (when tax revenue exceeds government spending), but we haven't been out of debt for decades.

teri - I like your Yoda-like answer!

carla - Got that much to burn eh?

jake - Oh well, for a second there your intentions were good.

kathy - And it better be hand signed by "G" himself!

doozie - That would be a good trick. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Can we now please forever dispense with the cracked-out logic of "Trickle-down Economics"? We're so incredibly screwed here, and our screw-ination began with that vaunted elitist Ronald Reagan.

Cartoons here: http://spinachflame.wordpress.com/

Mrs. R said...

Ugh. I so wish I could unread your latest post (no offense) just so this sinking feeling in my stomach would go away.

It's time to start investing all of our dollars in Euros.

cathouse teri said...


No wait. That's R-US-Yoda-Answers!