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Big Tom

$1,000,000,000,000.00 - What will that buy???

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So beyond the cost of the war in Iraq and the recent bailout efforts of our financial institutions, what else would this amount of money buy???

This was posted by the AP today.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- When the Sunday morning political pundits began talking last year about the tab for the war in Iraq hitting $1 trillion, Rob Simpson sprang from his sofa in indignation.

Rob Simpson created a Web site that lets you go virtual shopping with a $1 trillion credit card.

"Why aren't people outraged about this? Why aren't we hearing about it?" Simpson said. And then it came to him: "Nobody knows what a trillion dollars is."

The amount -- $1,000,000,000,000 -- was just too big to comprehend.

So Simpson, 51, decided to embark "on an unusual but intriguing research project" to put the dollars and cents of the war into perspective. He hired some assistants and spent 12 months immersed in economic data and crunching numbers.

The result: a slim but heavily annotated paperback released, "What We Could Have Done With the Money: 50 Ways to Spend the Trillion Dollars We've Spent on Iraq."

Simpson is no geopolitical, macro-economic, inside-the-Beltway expert. He's an armchair analyst and creative director for an advertising agency, a former radio announcer and music critic in Ontario and a one-time voiceover actor.

His alternative spending choices reflect his curiosity and wit.

He calculates $1 trillion could pave the entire U.S. interstate highway system with gold -- 23.5-karat gold leaf. It could buy every person on the planet an iPod. It could give every high school student in the United States a free college education. It could pay off every American's credit card. It could buy a Buick for every senior citizen still driving in the United States.

"As I started exploring, I was really taken aback by some of the things that can be done, both the absurd and the practical," Simpson said.

America could the double the 663,000 cops on the beat for 32 years. It could buy 16.6 million Habitat for Humanity houses, enough for 43 million Americans.

Now imagine investing that $1 trillion in the stock market -- perhaps a riskier proposition today than when Simpson finished the book -- to make it grow and last longer. He used an accepted long-term return on investment of 9 percent annually, with compounding interest.

The investment approach could pay for 1.9 million additional teachers for America's classrooms, retrain 4 million workers a year or lay a foundation for paying Social Security benefits in 65 years to every child born in the United States, beginning today.

It's too recent to make Simpson's list, but that $1 trillion could also have paid for the Bush administration's financial bailout plan, with $300 billion to spare. It might not be enough, however, to pay for the war in Iraq. Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has recently upped his estimate of the war's cost to $3 trillion.

Simpson created a Web site companion to his book that lets you go virtual shopping with a $1 trillion credit card. Choices range from buying sports franchises to theme parks, from helping disabled veterans to polar bears.

Click on Air Force One, the president's $325 million airplane. The program asks: "Quantity?"

"At one point we couldn't find anybody who actually stuck with it long enough to spend $1 trillion," Simpson said. "It will wear you out."

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It's too recent to make Simpson's list, but that $1 trillion could also have paid for the Bush administration's financial bailout plan, with $300 billion to spare.

It would be fun to have 1% of that kinda money. But PLEASE do not call this the Bush Administrations bailout plan. The Dem controlled congress/senate came up with this pork laden version. GW just signed it. The Bush adminstrations first plan was something like 6 pages and was shot down by Congress. This plan was 400 and something pages, filled with prok and pushed thru by the Dems.

GW has made alot of screw ups, but this bailout bill is owned by the Democrats.

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It would be fun to have 1% of that kinda money. But PLEASE do not call this the Bush Administrations bailout plan. The Dem controlled congress/senate came up with this pork laden version. GW just signed it. The Bush adminstrations first plan was something like 6 pages and was shot down by Congress. This plan was 400 and something pages, filled with prok and pushed thru by the Dems.

GW has made alot of screw ups, but this bailout bill is owned by the Democrats.

I believe Bush's proposal also called for $700 Billion to be spent so the dollar amounts are still the same. The first proposal was thin on details and on oversight if you ask me, you can't get into much detail in 6 pages. No one supported that first bill republicans included. The second bill did ear mark some money for both sides I'm sure and it passed 75-25 so there had to be plenty of republican votes for it.

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Remember, the first version failed the House vote. Enough earmarks were added to effectively buy 59 house votes, who switched their vote from 'no' to 'yes'. There are a few websites where you can go to find the names of the people who were bought...er...who changed their vote.

Plenty on both sides of the aisle.

In some circles, the bailout has been called the B.O.M.B. - Bush/Obama/McCain Bailout.

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Originally Posted By: Big Tom
It's too recent to make Simpson's list, but that $1 trillion could also have paid for the Bush administration's financial bailout plan, with $300 billion to spare.

It would be fun to have 1% of that kinda money. But PLEASE do not call this the Bush Administrations bailout plan. The Dem controlled congress/senate came up with this pork laden version. GW just signed it. The Bush adminstrations first plan was something like 6 pages and was shot down by Congress. This plan was 400 and something pages, filled with prok and pushed thru by the Dems.

GW has made alot of screw ups, but this bailout bill is owned by the Democrats.

This is the plan McCain suspended his campaign to come up with. He sat down with the republicans and democrats and got them to work together to make the bill. McCain said the bill wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good.

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Wow, this is really interesting… obviously noone really has a grasp of what a trillion dollars is … so where is that HSOforum you were writing about, do you have the link or something? I mean the virtual shopping one. I wonder how many clothes you could buy with that :-D

Though I didn’t know the estimated amount of money spent on Iraq was $3 trillion already…that is really scary…

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As long as we are talking about trillions of dollars, we should discuss Social Security. Estimated to have a $25 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years.

Yeah...I know...less than a trillion per year. And in 50 years, maybe a trillion dollars won't be as big a deal.

But next to this, a few trillion dollars in Iraq is going to look like pocket change.

And that doesn't include the medicare portion...

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Research SS more! Another Rep.scare tactic!

sarah so soon in the midst of vultures,could you have another avatar,name here?a wolf in sheeps clothing?

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I should have listed my source. I used the numbers from the Social Security Trustees Report. If I wanted to use scare tactics, I would use the numbers from the study that claims over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities in SS and Medicare...I just figured that the Trustees Report was a more reliable source.

And speaking of scare tactics, why is it that whenever anyone brings up the problems with social security and tries to offer a solution the real scare tactics come out? Gotta scare the elderly into not allowing SS to be fixed for future generations...

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From what I have read McCain and Obama are intentionally avoiding the SS topic. They both know that its the real budget killer in America and it needs major overhaul. But its not a vote getter according to what I read.

I wish someone would awknowledge it atleast. I don't give a carp about McCain's crusade against .5% of the budget on pork spending when SS is the real issue and is the biggest expense in the budget.

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Obama did mention it and said it was a problem that needs work now for future retirees,however it has funds for now.

McCain yet wants to follow the attempt to privatise?? WOW After the downfall??

Obama also stated it a Rep. Scare tatic.

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croix its here(socialism)Our leaders are making we the tax payers owners of banks,and it seems wallstreet!What else?

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I dont know I would love to have a congressman go out and get earmarks for this state and my distrect. If it still ok to have earmarks why let other states have them. Oh yea, we can have the high ground of morals.

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croix its here(socialism)Our leaders are making we the tax payers owners of banks,and it seems wall street!What else?
The problem is we gave a hand out we have little control over that money now. That cant be considered socialism as the repubs want us to believe I wouldnt think.

Did you see the auto akers are asking for more money now on top of the $25 billion given. And now they want to use that money given for other purposes than it was meant for. Go figure ah!

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