Beck’s $53 trillion asteroid

by Rusty Lindquist on January 25, 2011 · 0 comments

Today, CNN posted an article (here), where Glenn Beck discusses some frightening realities that we’re soon going to have to face.It’s worth a full read, but if you’re only interested in the summary, here it is…

  • $14.1 trillion is the size of the entire U.S. Economy
  • $53 trillion is the approximate size of the U.S. bill for Social Security and Medicare promises

In short, we’re insolvent.  With a bill this large, there will be no money for anything else – infrastructure, security, military, you name it – every dollar we pay in taxes would go to funding Medicare and Social Security.

To make those numbers more digestible (since $53trillion is a hard number to get your mind around), from the article:

“A million seconds is 12 days.  A billion seconds is 32 years.  A trillion seconds is 32,000 years.  And 53 trillion seconds?  1.7 million years.”

David Walker (former Comptroller General) says that these promises equate to an IOU of about $455,000 for every American household”.

The problem, as Beck so poignantly illustrates, is that none of this is news – the Government has known about it for a long time, and has done nothing but pass the buck to the next administration.  And what about the American people?  His illustration is that if an asteroid were heading toward earth by the tune of $53 trillion dollars, we’d demand something be done about it.  But here we sit – who’s speaking out?

As I said on my post about Hillary Clinton and honesty (here), where much is given, much is required.  It’s time to require our government to confront a problem that will make the current bickering seem comical. 

Throughout history, when the people stop getting involved, then things go awry – it’s only through ongoing intervention of we the people that keeps a government in check.  So what am I proposing we do?  At the very minimum, be aware, and talk about it.  Perpetuate the conversation.

An elected government is a government that focuses on things that will get them re-elected.  Those things that the people care and talk about the most, are those things that are bound to get the most attention.  But we have to talk.

Rusty

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 D. Facer April 24, 2008 at 11:22 AM

I think we have to do more than talk.

Didn’t we elect these idiots? I’m the only person that I know that’s willing to raise my hand and say, “Yup. I voted for Bush (ther first time). I contributed to, and am partly responsible for this debacle!”

There are plenty of political hopefuls that are owning up to the insolvency of Social Security, and a host of other Big Fat Hairy Issues, but they are so easily labeled as crackpots, outside of the boundaries of our two (count ’em, two) political parties, by their opponents. And we (the voting people) apparently are OK with that.

What I’m trying to say is that we engineered our representatives to avoid these issues. They’re simply fulfilling the mandate we give them. And to change the mandates we send, we’ve got to get away from stupid, polemic, partisan approaches whose best retort to failed policy is, “…well, it would have been even worse had the other guy been elected.”

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2 Rusty Lindquist April 24, 2008 at 2:38 PM

LOL, great comment. I mostly agree with you. First, though, voting for Bush doesn’t make you responsible for his actions, least of all the furtherance of the insolvency of these systems. You were given only a very few choices for president on your ballot, so I’m not sure it could be said that because you chose the one you deemed the best of those offered, now you (or others who voted like you) are responsible for any of this. Just like those who voted for the other guy aren’t held irresponsible because they didn’t vote for Bush.

Still, your comments about how our system has been engineered to avoid these issues are too true.

It’s an accurate description of the problem, but it doesn’t equit our elected officials of their responsibility (or ours to hold them to it) for coming up with viable solutions in the very near term.

Awesome addition to the post. Thank you.

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3 Mona Poe May 23, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Hi, Thank you for your blog pages, It helps when you can send a friend to your page for some insight into what we believe. And you are so great, at explaining further after my fumbled attempt, A friend asked me, “What do Mormons believe about the “Rapture” I tried to explain, but my attempt was not understood, so could you possibly blog about this subject too. I would appreciate it, and I am sure my friend who is rapidly scaring me with what she comes up with and says that these are her new beliefs, It is amazing to me that she didn’t join the church thirty years ago when I did, but she did not, if she would just look a little deeper into the restored gospel she might find what she needs but she won’t listen, yet, I keep hoping and praying, maybe she will someday. Thanks again. Mona

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