Thursday, April 12, 2012

$30 Each

According to the data, the U.S spends $30 for every single living human being on the planet Earth. How in the hell can we be spending that much money! From
It is a new record. And not a pretty one.

The federal government says it spent $369.37 billion in the month of March alone, or about $1,190 per each American man, woman and child. Laid end-to-end as dollar bills, the mind-boggling sum would stretch about 1,435 times around the Earth.

More important: To fund such lavish spending, the average Americans paid only $550 in taxes. Covering just half a month's spending with tax receipts is, of course, totally unsustainable. So it is a good thing that, unlike other high-deficit countries such as Spain, foreigners still seem happy to bankroll the U.S.

Spread across the 6.7 billion non-American residents of planet Earth, Uncle Sam's monthly revenue shortfall comes to a mere $30 a person. But the numbers quickly add up. During its entire history through the year 2000, the U.S. took on gross debt of $5.6 trillion. In little over a decade since then, it is set to add nearly twice that. By the government's own estimate, this year will end with a grand total of $14.7 trillion.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page C12

A version of this article appeared April 12, 2012, on page C12 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Overheard.