by Pearl Hahn
Bailouts and deficits have Americans thinking of money in very big terms. Some questions that haunt us include how much money we do not have, how much we owe, and how much we have handed over to failing companies in a futile effort to save them.
Thanks to Ralph Smeed of Idaho and scholars who have taken the time to ponder the question of how much a trillion dollars weighs, here is the answer:
It would take 44,080 eighteen-wheel trucks carrying a load of 25 tons each to transport a trillion dollars (in single bills).
What is truly amazing is how a trillion – a figure that is beyond fathomable – can disappear so quickly passing through the hands of government.
The cost of the war in Iraq tops $3 trillion. The unfunded liability of Medicare is $36 trillion over the next 75 years. The interest alone on the national debt as reported this morning by CNN is $4.8 trillion.
A trillion has become the new billion, and no one in Congress seems to be counting.
Pearl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org