Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Big is $787 Billion? What Would It Buy?

The latest estimates for the stimulus package are about $787 billion, a number so mind-numbing large it's hard to even imagine a number of that size.

Yesterday's "
The Gartman Letter" puts it in perspective for us:

$787 billion would buy 4.6 million homes here in the US at the most recent median price of $170,300 for January 2008.

$787 billion would send a check for $2,623 to every man, woman and child in the US.

$787 billion would fund 7.7 million four year scholarships to the average private university in the US at current tuition rates.

$787 billion would fund 30 million full four year scholarships to the nation’s public universities.

$787 billion would buy 27.7 million cars at the average price of an automobile sold last year in the US.

$787 billion would fund four full months of a tax holiday in the US.

38 Comments:

At 2/25/2009 11:36 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

and it will pay 10 million bureaucrats to push paper around.

 
At 2/25/2009 11:46 AM, Blogger Gherald L said...

It's important to remember that a portion of that $787 billion is temporary tax cuts; it's not all spending.

 
At 2/25/2009 12:06 PM, Anonymous jorod said...

It would have been cheaper to just cut taxes.

 
At 2/25/2009 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's important to remember that a portion of that $787 billion is temporary tax cuts; it's not all spending.

It's more important to remember that the $787 billion figure does not include interest. Including interest, the figure is more like $1.3 trillion.

Further, a lot of the money being sent to the states for welfare, Medicaid and education comes with requirements for permanent increases in spending pushing the total tab into the trillions.

 
At 2/25/2009 1:57 PM, Blogger bobble said...

one of the reasons i voted republican in 2000 was because i thought i was voting for fiscal responsibility. by 2004 i had learned my lesson (in more ways than one).

i don't know if the demos plan will work or not, but the republican plan of the last 8 years sure didn't.

from the CONSERVATIVE media page NewsMax.Com:

"The Bush Legacy Part II: Trillions in Deficits For Years to Come

. . . When Bush took the oath of office in 2001, the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion. As Bush departed Washington on Tuesday, it had grown by almost $5 trillion to more than $10.6 trillion – a quantum increase of nearly 100 percent . . ."

LOL. where were you guys when the republicans controlled the govt?apparently deficits are not bad if republicans create them.

 
At 2/25/2009 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$787 billion will pay for half a war in a middle eastern country.

 
At 2/25/2009 2:37 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It'll buy 3.5 million jobs at $225,000 each, according to Obama.

 
At 2/25/2009 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of the reasons i voted republican in 2000 was ...

Yeah, I bet you voted Republican. It's true that Bush was a spender. It's also true that the Democrats voted overwhelmingly to support his spending. In fact, they proposed spending more than Bush asked for every single time. Having said that, this chart shows the budget surplus/deficit, as a percent of GDP, from 1965 to present. You can see that until the collapse of the credit markets and the implementation of the TARP program, which was supported by far more Democrats than Republicans, the budget was moving toward balance.

It's important to remember that Bush inherited the aftermath of the tech bubble and the attacks on 9/11, both of which wiped trillions of dollars off GDP. He also had to rebuild a military, cut nearly in half by Clinton, while fighting two wars. He had Katrina, one of the largest and most expensive natural disasters in American history. And while some of this spending was kept "off budget" the vast majority of the increase in the national debt was the result of increased payouts associated with entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

For you to complain about Republican spending while the Democrats control Congress and are busy burying the country in debt just as we confront a tsunami of entitlement obligations shows that you are too stupid to have voted Republican.

 
At 2/25/2009 2:59 PM, Blogger DaveinHackensack said...

According to Greg Mankiw, 90% of economists agree that "Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy.".

Since we're clearly not a fully employed economy at this point, and we have a $14 trillion economy that contracted at an annual rate of about 5% in 4Q08, why do you think a $787 billion stimulus package is too big? A better criticism of it would be that too little of this package represents fast-acting stimulus (e.g., the CBO estimates that less than a quarter of it will hit this year).

 
At 2/25/2009 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$787 billion will pay for half a war in a middle eastern country.

You've got to stop trolling those left-wing websites. The cost figures used by leftists when talking about the war in Iraq are inflated and misleading. First, the military has certain "fixed" expenses, e.g. wages, fuel, equipment maintenance and replacement, etc. These costs are incurred whether the military is in San Diego or Baghdad. Second, the "containment strategy" was very costly to execute and sustain and those costs would have to be projected into the future. Even if the U.S. had stopped patrolling the "no fly zones" and the sanctions were lifted, we would have had to maintain our presence in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai to counter the continuing threat from Saddam. One has to consider all of these things, and more, when considering the costs of the war.

 
At 2/25/2009 3:34 PM, Anonymous James said...

@ Anon 2:43

You're forgetting that both the house and senate were 'republican' controlled during Bush's first 6 years. These retarded pussies did anything Bush asked for (and more, as you say), and avoided much of the responsibility as most of the unpopular stuff was done via executive action.

Republicans had a great chance to actually implement some of the policies they campaign on, but because they're spineless politicians they didn't, and then tried to pass the buck (which you're trying to do as well by blaming the also-culpable dems.) This doesn't excuse the retarded 'stimulus' bill, but to call bobble 'too stupid to have voted republican' is moronic. The only way I could agree with you is if we concluded that he never really did vote republican, because none of those pussies actually were republicans.

 
At 2/25/2009 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're forgetting that both the house and senate were 'republican' controlled during Bush's first 6 years.

I guess if that were true, I'd have forgotten it. Unfortunately for an historically illiterate moron, like you, it isn't.

The Senate during Bush's first 2 years was controlled by the Democrats after Sen. James Jeffords changed his party affiliation to "Independent". Following the midterm elections, in 2002, Republicans took a ONE seat majority in the Senate, since the only "Independent" was a socialist, Bernie Sanders, who caucused with the Democrats. The practical effect of this was that the Democrats had a filibuster proof minority and enough votes to stop legislation from coming to the floor. They used that power to negotiate increased spending for all kinds of programs. They even larded up critical funding bills for the military with billions of dollars of pet projects, like breast cancer research.

Yeah, you're right, the Republicans have been "pussies" on spending. But to suggest that the Democrats are the fiscally responsible alternative is just complete crap.

 
At 2/25/2009 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're right, the Republicans have been "pussies" on spending. But to suggest that the Democrats are the fiscally responsible alternative is just complete crap.

Bears repeating. Hilarious how democrats have stopped screeching about Pay-go and fiscal responsibility now it's them outspending Bush by a factor.

 
At 2/25/2009 4:56 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Ah, but you missed:

$787 billion would require that 150 million dumbasses (you get the point) vote differently in the last election.

> a portion of that $787 billion is temporary tax cuts; it's not all spending

FAR, FAR too small a portion of that money, Gherard.

> but the republican plan of the last 8 years sure didn't

Yeah, it took the Dems only four weeks to accomplish spending as much money they didn't have as it took the GOP four years to accomplish.

Hopey-changey-improvey-mental.

Emphasis on the mental.

The solution is to vote the bastards out.

ALL of them.

Which means you do it in the primaries if needed, not in November -- if the GOP prick has forgotten why he got put in office, you don't replace him/her with an even bigger spending dumbass Democrat.

Otherwise you wind up with this sort of crap, which is basically innoculating everyone with Smallpox, so they don't get Cowpox.

Hey, Great idea, bobbie!

 
At 2/25/2009 5:01 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> why do you think a $787 billion stimulus package is too big?

If it weren't almost entirely pork spending with nothing to do with stimulus there'd be a lot less griping.

If it were almost all tax cuts designed to re-invigorate the economy, there would be far fewer complaints (the most obvious being a four-month tax holiday for the entire USA, across the board, but that's far from the only way to do it -- as noted elsewhere, it could provide a employer/employee income tax break for over a year).

No, it's mostly a lot of crap designed to reward the unions, ACORN, and a host of other "gimme gimme" shills for their support.

 
At 2/25/2009 5:50 PM, Blogger QT said...

At 4.3 million dollars each, 787 billion would buy 183,023 windmills ...oops, forgetting the subsidies

 
At 2/25/2009 6:37 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Hmmm, $787 billion would cover the costs of about five quarters of FDR's criminal Ponzi Scheme for Parasites...

 
At 2/25/2009 8:24 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Poor Deal Gets Richer:

Obama wants to buy health care.

Obama seeks $634B over 10 years for health care
February 25, 7:33 pm ET

"...The health care provisions are meant to start a dialogue with Congress over how to provide coverage for an estimated 48 million uninsured...Independent experts say providing coverage for all could easily cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years, a figure the Obama administration does not dispute.

Whatever Congress does, the documents said, "must put the United States on a clear path to cover all Americans." Obama has called on Congress to send him a health care reform bill this year.

The $634 billion would be on top of recent health care expansions approved by Congress."

 
At 2/25/2009 8:56 PM, Blogger rbblum said...

Congressional fiscal behavior is no different than the behavior of a teenager when left alone for the weekend while the parents are off to Las Vegas. A little bit of adult supervision would go a long way in either situation . . . while the nation sits on the sideline - unamused.

 
At 2/25/2009 10:42 PM, Blogger Bob W. said...

You could also buy 23 million Dodge Challenger R/T's with that plata, by the way, all in Alpine White. . .

 
At 2/25/2009 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might find this interesting.....

http://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2009/2/23/dont_nationalize;_suspend_mark-to-market

 
At 2/26/2009 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you need a calculator Mark? $787 billion divided 6.000 million people in the world is...: $131 million each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So is a little bit more than $2623 for each american citizen...

 
At 2/26/2009 12:43 PM, Blogger bobble said...

anon2:43"Yeah, I bet you voted Republican"

all republicans aren't wingnuts. i happen to be middle of the road (which, on this blog, puts me far to the left), but i usually vote republican.

you ideologs will never understand that some voters look at what's *actually working* for the country and what's not. this differs from the 'religion' you belong to.

 
At 2/26/2009 2:21 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"you ideologs will never understand that some voters look at what's *actually working* for the country and what's not. this differs from the 'religion' you belong to"...

Oh wow! Peggy Joseph has joined the conversation...

 
At 2/26/2009 4:33 PM, Anonymous Lucas said...

i think you should forget about politics sides. what we are up to is a really good plan. it worked once and i think it will work again. but the thing is do it with a projection to the future. not only to build streets but also do something that will keep working. now we just have to wait and see. hopfully it'll work

 
At 2/26/2009 5:04 PM, OpenID mundodeenigmas said...

With that money I would change my life.

 
At 2/26/2009 7:05 PM, Blogger OA said...

"Do you need a calculator Mark? $787 billion divided 6.000 million people in the world is...: $131 million each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So is a little bit more than $2623 for each american citizen..."

With that kind of math, you must be a member of Congress. Here's a hint on one of your mistakes, check the population of New York City.

Hint number 2, when you multiply $131 million by 1,000, what number do you get?

 
At 2/27/2009 11:23 AM, Anonymous Matias Franceschini said...

How many hungry mouths we could feed?

 
At 2/27/2009 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I wrong or 787billons or 787000 millions divided by world population aprox 7000 millions is....
more than 100 million dollars per habitant, but not just US... I am talking about world population.

Is this a joke?
of course, all this money is not all spending cash and It would be crazy to share all just like this.. but what if?

 
At 2/27/2009 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's to worry about?

 
At 2/28/2009 12:26 PM, Anonymous tex said...

How many Iraq wars can be bought for $787 billion dollars?

 
At 2/28/2009 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, President Obama!! He thinks of everything.

 
At 2/28/2009 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many Iraq wars can be bought for $787 billion dollars?

tex? Shouldn't that be tax?

It took Barack Obama and democrats only three weeks to spend twice as much as was spent on the Iraq War - Approximately 1 trillion versus 500 billion. But he's not stopping there. When the Generational Theft Act price tag of 3.6 trillion is reached in the next couple of months, that would be 6 times as much as was spent in over 5 years liberating, stabilizing and building a functioning democracy in Iraq.

The only difference is that at the end of the Iraq war 30 million people will be free, after Obama, 330 million will be slaves.

 
At 2/28/2009 2:08 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"How many hungry mouths we could feed?"...

Why should we feed any?

 
At 3/01/2009 8:05 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> all republicans aren't wingnuts. i happen to be middle of the road (which, on this blog, puts me far to the left), but i usually vote republican.


No, bobbie, I've seen your stated positions on far too many things.

You ARE well to the left.

If you vote for the GOP it's certainly not because you agree with any of their policies by vocal support of them. More than likely, you're just lying.

 
At 3/01/2009 8:22 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> "Do you need a calculator Mark? $787 billion divided 6.000 million people in the world is...: $131 million each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


OA, do you need to learn how to OPERATE a calculator?

787 billion divided by six billion (incorrect in itself: 6.6 is closer to the correct number) is **131**. Period. No millions, just "one-hundred-and-thirty-one".

I'm guessing you might be a Brit, from the "." in place of the comma, and the use of 6.000 million in place of "billion"...?

We don't use "billion" for "million million". Billion means "1000 million" in America. And "trillion" means "1000 billion".

Perhaps you've noticed this when dealing with computer equipment as well, where 1 gigabyte means (approximately) 1000 megabytes, etc. 1 billion=1000 million.

Also, as to the original figure --

787,000 million divided among 300 million Americans is 787000/300 == (gasp!) 2623!!!

Mirabelle Dictu!! The numbers!! They match!!

Whoodathunkit? The guy who got a doctorate in economics can actually correctly operate a calculator!! I grant this may not be true of a complete and utter moron like Paul Krugman, but then, Dr. Perry is smart enough to not be a neoKeynesian, so one should not equate the two sorts of economists.

One might equate the intelligence of an Austrian and a Monetarist in a general sense, but don't ever make the kind of mistake by assuming that, just because all neoKeynesians are blithering halfwits, that all economists are.

Only in a dictionary does De Carte belong before De Horse.

 
At 3/03/2009 8:11 AM, Anonymous Ze1Dude said...

We could replace our Government and give the Military a raise !

 
At 3/09/2009 11:37 AM, Blogger Mr. França said...

1 giga has 1024 megas, 1 mega has 1024 kylo bytes, and so on!

just to annoy =D

 

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