Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Power of 0 

Numbers being thrown around by the Democrats in Washington, DC these days are simply mind-boggling. Yes, both parties have a history of ignoring the long-range implications of their programs, starting with FDR's Social Security "solution" in the 1930's. But the unbelievable ramp-up by Obama and his cronies is simply unprecedented.

Is there anything that can be done to change this ever increasing mindset of "we can always have our way, spend our way and never be held accountable"?

A simple but effective approach may be to include all the zeroes in these bills, current and future. Far too many people hear "million" and "billion" and "trillion" and simply don't understand the magnitude of these numbers.

Most politicians, under the guise of "caring" ignore the 600 pound gorillas in the room or just push the decision down the road to the next generation or more. So many baby boomers who were raised to disagree with the previous generation and taught they were special, raised another generation that thinks it's perfect. Terrific! Now these same boomers and their kids are putting in place programs that will eventually tax their kids and grandkids forever.

A wake-up call occurred with one of my former students who worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. His paper draft wrote numbers as: $4.6 billion, $972 million, etc. I asked him to put in the zeroes: $4,600,000,000, $972,000,000 etc. He showed his paper to his boss, a minimum of a 10 year veteran of the Federal Reserve System. His boss was stunned.

If someone working with that much money gets stunned by looking at the zeroes, maybe, there is hope that if we include the zeroes in all these government programs, we'll wake up and take measures to protect our nation, its economy and, as Dems like to say, "the children." For now, our kids are on the hook for a long time for Irrational spending by their parents.