We all know that the U.S. National debt could pave a road to the moon and back in so many dollar bills. Statistics like that abound. but it is unrelated to everyday experience, and still leaves the true impact of this issue blissfully abstract.
Since recent bailout measures are approaching a trillion dollars a pop, to bring it home, I’d like to introduce "T*Bux," or how much money an average U.S. taxpayer owes on a government expenditure.
The U.S. Census is 307,212,123, per July 2009 estimate. As of 2007, there were just under half, or 138 million taxpayers in the U.S.
Ordinary calculators can’t handle 1 tillion divided by 138 million, so, knocking 6 zeros from each, we have 1,000,000 divided by 138. Or the T*Bux on $1T is $7250 per taxpayer, rounding off. This is the figure that will be used to make calculations.
The TARP is running $0.7 trillion, so that's $5075 T*Bux per average taxpayer. Quite the extortion when you look at it that way, what we are personally handing to the banks for screwing up our economy. Oh, sure, they'll pay it back. Well probably not AIG which alone, by my last count, has a $.18T tab, or $1305 T*Bux, for just one insurance company. What is lost for good is the $0.5T going to Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) to guarantee toxic assets bought at inflated prices, or $3625 per taxpayer. Obama’s stimulus is $0.78T, or $5655 T*Bux in addition. The U.S. National debt ceiling, which we are very close to, is $12.1T, or $87,000 T*Bux.
After what we owe on our houses, the second biggest taxpayer indebtedness will usually be to fund government, with cars and credit cards and such weighing in at a distant third place.
As population estimates change, T*Bux will be revised.