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No Trillion Dollar Deposit

As one of my church jobs, this morning I counted and readied for banking the money we received in church offerings yesterday. It didn’t take long. Later in the day, a business man came by the church office, and the conversation turned to how God has blessed him with lots of work, even during these days of economic crisis. He spoke of cash flow challenges that commonly arise, even in a prospering business, and when he casually mentioned an amount that would float during a month, I was aghast, snickered a bit, walked around the desk and read aloud the amount of today’s deposit for the church. It was funny.

Though it startled me, the figure the businessman spoke of today was not a trillion dollars; I assure you it definitely was not. But every day I hear that amount referenced on the radio, gaze at the strange word on my computer screen and see the rare figure slated in black newsprint. A trillion dollars! Do you know how much a trillion dollars is? I can hardly wrap my mind around such a number, nor grasp its gorged significance.

How about 2, 3 or 4 trillion…how about $9.7 trillion? How about it? Some have calculated the stimulus package the U. S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s involvement in the financial crisis to such an amount; nearly ten trillion dollars.

The $9.7 trillion in pledges would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It’s 13 times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve.

Source: Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry at Bloomberg.com

I don’t get it. Just don’t understand why we must spend that amount of money. But then, what do I know? I know this, though; it will be a long time before our church deposit slip will need anywhere near the string of zeros that’s required to designate 10,000,000,000,000 dollars!