Hey, listen. Um, about that money you loaned me — you know, that $100 grand that I told you I was going to use to help get my financial house in order, kinda settle things down a little bit. Yeah, well, I … uh … well, some things came up and that money’s gone and I … um … I kinda need the other $100 grand, too.
What’s that? You want to know where the money went? Yeah, well, that’s kinda complicated, really. My cross-eyed Uncle Abner got some. Not sure exactly what he was going to do with it, but he’s got a pretty good head for business. And then my second cousin had a chance to get in on the ground floor of a new development over by the sewage treatment plant, so she got a little, too. And then those big-screen plasma TVs went on sale and I’ve been wanting one of those for a while and figured I might as well do the whole Blu-Ray home theater thing, too. So, you know, it’s just kinda gone and I can’t really say where the rest went. Like I said, it’s pretty complicated.
So, anyway, can I get the other $100 grand now? I really need to get things straightened out. So can I have it, you know, like now?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not moved by this kind of argument. Personally, if I loaned anybody that kind of money (as if I had that kind of money to loan!), I’d expect some accountability. I would want to know that the argument you made to convince me to loan you the money was what you used it for. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?
Well, apparently, it is too much to ask. At least it seems to be when you’re talking about big, big numbers — numbers like, say, $350 billion.
Part of the problem is that this really doesn’t seem like real money. It doesn’t even seem like a real number. Most of us don’t have a very good conception of how much a billion is. I’m not terribly proficient at math, but one source put it this way.
A million seconds is 12 years. I think most of us can comprehend that. But how long is a billion seconds? 31 years.
Now multiply that by 350. What the heck, go ahead and multiply it by 700. Are you getting some idea of how much money we’re talking about here, and how much money seems to be vanishing into the sinkhole our economy has become.
Look, I have no idea how this is supposed to work. I understand a little about how it was supposed to work, but that plan only seemed to last until the money was actually approved. Now it’s being spent for … well, like I said, it’s pretty complicated.
So, about that other $100 grand …