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How much is a "Billion"?

By TonytheTiger ·
A Billion!!!!! Here's some thought provoking information

The next time you hear a politician use the word "billion" in a casual manner, think about whether you want the "politicians" spending your 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 releases.

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 no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

e.. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans -

It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division ...

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?

a.. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.

b.. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

c..Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Does the average taxpayer really understand what a billion is?

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Regret all you want

by jdclyde In reply to Oh god help me, I'm going ...

but provided things went as you described, helping someone through a tough time is completely different than supporting generation after generation.

Safety nets are meant to catch you when you fall, not carry you. You were not carried.

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droolin, that is what the programs

by Old Guy In reply to Oh god help me, I'm going ...

are for. There are a lot of people who need the temporary help as you did. The main difference being that you wanted to get back on your own two feet and take care of yourself. There are waaaay too many people, as Max is talking about that just rape the system. Not people like you who turn things around.

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by stress junkie In reply to droolin, that is what the ...

Social programs are good as long as people don't make a career of them. Everybody has a time when their situation get tough. It helps everybody if people get assistance to get back on their feet. And it's humane. That's entirely different from people who spend more time learning how to cheat the system than they spent learning algebra in high school.

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Your parents

by TonytheTiger In reply to Oh god help me, I'm going ...

paid in for their entire working life, so I can't see how a reasonable person could begrudge them, and since you are on your feet you are paying back so again, no problem.

I would even be OK with college, to those kids who show an aptitude, being a taxpayer borne expense (an investment, actually... Those who go to college will generally make more money, and therefore pay more taxes during their careers).

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by JamesRL In reply to Your parents

I've gone back and forth on this one. As a student taking out loans and getting grants, I wished there had been more grants. And I'm sure in 6 years when my kids are old enough, I will feel the same.

But when I look at it dispassionately, I think that there should be some level of fees or payback to discourage people who are not "serious". You value something more when you pay for it. I do agree with some subsidies because it helps business and the individual, and the increased income taxes generated offset the cost.

I know in Canada, the government funds all universities to the point where the students pay about a quarter of the real costs.(Foreign students pay whats perceived to be the real cost). This is higher than it used to be, and there are fewer grants and therefore more students are taking loans. I agree with low interest and long term student loans. But free is a mistake, IMHO.

Those in UK, where it was/is free - opinions?


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I had thought about that...

by TonytheTiger In reply to Education

I had also thought about the possibility of creating "Career Students". But I really don't think they will be a significant problem... because someone who it too lazy to get up and go to work is probably going to also be too lazy to get up and go to school.

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Hey Droolin

by Tig2 In reply to Oh god help me, I'm going ...

One of these days you and I will have to talk about social programme reform- from the perspective of the recipient.

The programme, as I always understood it, was there to porvide a helping hand to those in a bit of bad luck. If you want to read the long version, you'll find it here: Not really worth the read in my opinion.

I will never see anything wrong with a person using the programmes in place as long as they are used in the manner intended. It sounds to me that you did exactly that- as necessary, while necessary. The porblems today are that the programme that once helped you is probably closed to you now. That is a shame especially in light of what we are seeing in Texas and in Louisiana.

I have no problem suporting a social programme to help someone like yourself- normally self sufficient and for a short chapter, in need. I can validate that. What gets me and people like me ticked are the folks that play the system like a violin and profit from it. That is flatly wrong and should be called so. Instead we continually restrict these programmes in ways that make it impossible for the truly needy to get the short term assistance they need.

I agree completely. There's times.

Peace brother- you're good here.

P.S. Getting home health assistance for your Mom while she was being cared for at home is one of the few social programmes we have that works right. I'm just glad it is still available. It enables caregivers to BE caregivers thus reducing the time a chronically ill person requires skilled nursing care in a facility.

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A comment

by maxwell edison In reply to Oh god help me, I'm going ...

Let me ask you a simple question. (And trust me, it's asked with the best of intentions.) When you had no job and were receiving government assistance, if you had not received that assistance, would you have withered and died, or would you have found an alternative way to get by? You must answer this question honestly.

I'm gonna' go out on a limb, here, and suggest that you would have gotten by. I'll go out on a longer limb, and suggest you would have gotten by even better and/or faster! (See note below.)

Coupled with the fact that before the government gives anything to anyone, it has to first take it from someone else. Not only does it make life more difficult for the person from whom it's being taken, but it's contrary to the intended purpose of the United States government. James Madison, himself, suggested that nowhere in the Constitution was the authority for the government to take money from one citizen for the sole purpose of giving it to another.

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -- James Madison

Therefore, not only is it the wrong thing to do for the wrong reason, but it's really not helping anybody; in fact, it's actually hurting people.

I believe that I actually have more faith in people than many of them have in themselves. If necessity is the mother of invention, which it is, then success is the offspring of believing. I could never look a person in the eye and tell him that he's too stupid, too ignorant, too helpless, or too anything to not be able to find a way to at least care for himself and his family. And unfortunately, that's exactly what people who espouse such government programs are saying.

Note: I've been unemployed a number of times, but only one of those times (which was the last time) was I eligible to receive unemployment compensation from the government. Previous to that one time, without receiving a dime from the government, I always managed to find a way to get by. If I can do it, anybody can do it. There's ALWAYS a way. When I did get laid-off from a "real job", one which made me eligible to receive unemployment, I only participated for a couple of weeks. It didn't take long for me to walk away from those people (both the cry-in-your-beer people I had to associate with and the government people who insisted I play their games), even though I could have collected for some time. I literally told one of the counselors to take his pittance of a check and shove it. (Yes, I really did.) I was "unemployed" for another nine months before I found the job I currently have. During that nine months, I made almost $20,000 (about $100 a day) by forcing myself to find an alternative (in this case, several alternatives), compared to the $100 a week the unemployment would have paid me. (By the way, I had a stay-at-home-wife at the time with a six month old baby, and she continued to stay home with him.)

P.S. Here's a prediction: There will be people who will find a reason to disagree with me, and their outcome would always reflect their belief -- they will have proved themselves right. On the other hand, there will be people who will find a reason to agree with me, and their outcome would also always reflect their belief -- they, too, will have proved themselves right. The former are "I'll believe it when I see it" type people. The latter are "I'll see it when I believe it" type people. Which kind of person are you? Which kind of person do you want to be?

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to be honest

by DanLM In reply to A comment

At the time, I was still living around family. So, yes. I would have survived. I wouldn't have been living in my own place, but I would have survived.

With regard to my mother's assistance. What ever the government had to offer that I couldn't provide. My brother and I used it to make the last years of her life as bearable as possible.

In the end, she went to a home where the government paid for it. But her house was forfeited go the government, which I agree with by the way.

Now Max, would I survive? I don't know. I'm willing to work any job, not an issue. Shoot, I sold children cd's at the mall last christmas when I was out of work. Actually, I liked it. Quite honestly I considered changing career's cause I liked it so much. But, it was not enough to live by. If I hadn't retired early from my last job, and moved here with a insured income of 1200 a month. No, I really don't think I would have survived. Car would have been taken, wouldn't have made enough to pay the rent and utilities(Internet don't count), and I definitely wouldn't have been eating on a regular basis.

Max, understand something. I worked in the state building, 2 floors above welfare. I know users when I see them. People come in, trashed/hung over, wearing better cloths then me. To get their check. Those are the abusers, they don't deserve the spit I would like to use on them. Then there are people, you can tell. On their lunch hour, wearing their work uniforms. Mechanics, waitress's, shoot the people that take care of the elderly in homes. These are not high paying jobs, and if they have a family. They are maybe putting enough food on the table while they worry that nobody gets sick. Those are the people that I will give out of my own pocket to. They are working, they are contributing, but they need help. They don't live in mansions, they don't drive new cars, they work for a living. Probably more hours then me. And still can't survive.

And I didn't take anything you said the wrong way.


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Just as a side note to this specific post

by DanLM In reply to to be honest

My brother used the blind association to get my mother involved in various activities that he couldn't do. Even though he tried. A social program.

Besides a home nurse, there was someone that came once a week/twice a week? Who helped bath and do other things with my mom. Another social program.

I know my brother used everything he could when it came to the care of my mom.

This is hard to explain, but the point was. If we could utilize a social service, we did. And I don't feel guilty in the least bit for it. I don't feel we abused the system either, not in the least bit.

We also had a close knit group of family and friends who also assisted us in the care of my mom. But, I will be honest Max. I don't think my mother would have lasted as long as she did. Or been taken care of as well as she was, if social services weren't there.

God, its been awhile since I thought about this.


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