Posted: July 18, 2008
I received an e-mail from a business associate a few weeks ago that forwarded me the following. The next time you hear a politician use the word "billion" in a casual manner, think about how you want the politicians to be spending our tax money.
A "billion" is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its recent news releases. Here is the history of what a "billion" really means:
A. A billion seconds ago, it was 1959. B. A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive. C. A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. D. A billion days ago, nobody walked on the Earth that was more than two feet tall. E. A billion dollars ago was only eight hours, 20 minutes, which is the equivalent of what our government spends during the same period of time.
Meanwhile, a senator from the State of Louisiana is asking Congress for $250 billion to rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. Let's explore what a billion dollars really means.
If you are one of 484,674 residents in the City of New Orleans, every man, woman and child would receive $516,280 each. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, each residence would receive $1,329,787. Then again, if a family of four in New Orleans were to qualify for the funding being requested, each family would receive $2,066,012. No offense to the City of New Orleans, but I think the word "billion" is often misunderstood.
While each of us considers what the word "billion" really means, it is also important to note that the following taxes never existed 100 years ago. They include: Accounts receivable tax; Building permit tax; CDL license tax; Cigarette tax; Corporate income tax; Dog license tax; Federal income tax; Federal Unemployment tax; Fishing license tax; Food license tax; Fuel permit tax; Gasoline tax; Hunting license tax; Inheritance tax; IRS interest charges and IRS penalties; Liquor tax; Luxury tax; Marriage license tax; Medicare tax; Property tax; Real estate tax; Service charge tax. State unemployment tax; Telephone federal excise tax; Telephone recurring charges tax; Utility tax; Vehicle registration tax; Watercraft registration tax; Well permit tax; and Worker's compensation tax.
None of these taxes existed 100 years ago. In fact, in 1908, our nation was the most wealthiest and the world had no national debt. We could also afford to have a prosperous middle class. How times have changed.