Skip to main content

Billion American Dollars Seem Highly Insignificant Today -(coin your own acronym)

Dear Members and Constituents,
It's not clear whether Everett Dirksen (who served in the U.S. congress 1933 - 1969) ever uttered the infamous phrase "a billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you're talking real money". It is clear, however, several recent news stories seem to imply a billion dollars is not "real money".
  • The U.S. is contemplating $1.2 Billion in aid to Pakistan which, according to analysts, is unlikely to buy us much (if any) good will from their people
  • The $7.2 Billion broadband stimulus package will not make a meaningful dent in the disparity that exists between urban and rural broadband availability.
  • The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the administration's budget could bring about $9.3 Trillion (12 zeroes) in deficits.
  • Heck, Bernie Madoff, a single individual, was able to defraud investors out of $65 Billion (what's a billion among friends?)

It's intuitive to me that a Billion dollars (nine zeroes) buys elected officials less than it would you or I. The more money you manage, the less control over minutia you have. A housewife in Bangladesh will get the biggest bang for her Taka (worth about a penny and a half). Officials thinking in chunks of 69.7 Billion Taka ($1 Billion), have a harder time avoiding the proverbial Reagan-era $800 toilet seat purchases or letting a few million dollars line the pockets of corrupt local officials here and there. Sure, these are tough times, however, Dirksen died in '69 so apparently, it's been a while since a billion in the government's hands went a long way.

With the Rockies' home opener today, it's comforting to know a billion still gets you a 13 year runway with that organization (only 4.75 if you wanted to fund the Yankees payroll). Luckily, none of us is cursed with having that kind of money to spend (that did not sound right).. and thus it becomes easier to walk away from bad deals. Take Danielle Vitale (donut girl) as an example. She was well within her means when she purchased five dozen donuts to share with us this morning (although carrying them in did pose some challenges -they're heavy!). And if you've been having a hard time picturing these obscenely large amounts of money, perhaps it would help to think of a dozen donuts as the number of zeros that follow the number one in a trillion. Only nine donuts for a billion. I don't know about you but all this talk has made me getting hungry. So, stimulate the economy by purchasing some coffee, tea, hot cocoa or milk and then stimulate your taste buds with a delicious donut.

Have a Good Friday.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

BIrds of a Feather

Friends, The early bird catches the worm, however, as the sun rises I’d much rather have a Denver omelet than a diet of worms . Ready to fly the coop, my ducks all in a row, I ponder one more time whether a bird in hand is truly worth two in the bush. Egged-on by my quest to tuck away a nest egg, I’ve decided to change industries and hope that, like the phoenix, my career will also rise from the ashes of change. After all, I’m no spring chicken –my crow’s feet and gray bely my age – however, I have to trust my judgment and believe you can’t catch this old bird with chaff (whether or not folks think me an odd bird for my actions). And so I shall attempt to soar like an eagle, aware that counting my chickens before they hatch would be ill-advised. As I learn to talk turkey in the language of cybersecurity, I will endeavor not to hide my head in the sand, choosing instead to be like a duck – calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath! And while my excessive use of bird-inspired

Love and Marriage go together like a Horse and... Donut!

Friends, My family gained a new daughter last week. As I welcome the freshly minted Mrs. Gonz├ílez, I wish the new couple a lasting, loving, happy and tranquil marriage. I am also reminded of a special delivery I received at the wedding. A few weeks ago, my niece/goddaughter held a “go fund me” and offered to stitch something for the donors. I, of corse, asked for a horse jumping through a donut. The completed masterpiece depicting this unlikely combo now has a special place in my office, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it. That said, I may forgo the obligatory donut today and opt for some of the leftover cake we still have at the house. Happy Friday!   New addition to the Family Horse through donut  with the artist   Horse through donut at it’s new home shelf P.S. The donut wall in action.

Life is Smiling!

Friends, You know life is good when even dinner smiles at you. That said, digging into smiley soup can pose a dilemma. At a conscious level, you know it’s just inert food. Inanimate, unsentient, incapable of emotion or feeling. Still, those cute cross eyed egg eyes and that little pepper smile are saying ”I’m your friend” —and friends don’t eat friends. Naming your anthropomorphic dish only makes matters worse. Eventually, being the monster I am, hunger wins. Mmmm, delicious! (Sorry, Sally). Speaking of which, maybe skip the smiley faces on that next dozen donuts. Happy Friday! ;-)