If you stand on the bank of a river or good-sized creek, and you want to know how deep it is before you stick your foot in, you pick up a couple of rocks; golf-ball size or a little smaller. You toss the first rock in a couple of feet from the bank and it goes—plip. The waters about a foot deep.

The next rock you throw out about four feet; it goes—ploop. Three to four feet is a good guess.

The last stone you toss into the middle of the river; about twenty feet if the river is in Texas. Pluuump. Over eight feet or more.

I’ve often wondered what the sound would be if you dropped a really big boulder–say ten tons or so—into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. If I were clever enough, I could probably get a government grant to find out.

Such arcane knowledge might come in handy in gauging the oceanic depth of trouble we face in the form of our national debt.

The numbers are everywhere, television anchors and talk show host cover chalk boards with them. Graphics designers roll out every trick in their arsenal to convey the sheer scope of something so vast that it beggars the imagination. The average citizen has nowhere they can go to look directly at the thing and grasp the scale of it.Fourteen plus trillion dollars is the current total of the national debt. That exceeds the combined value of all of the gold on earth plus all of the silver! The total net worth of the 400 richest people in the U.S.A. [not their taxable income, but their entire worth] is 1.27 trillion. That would just cover this years deficit in our yearly budget. We are effectively strip mining the future of our own children because we collectively lack the courage to solve this problem.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said; ” Pay your debt, pay all of your debt, pay your debt first; because , in the end , you will pay your debt.”

I believe that this is “The Unforgiving Minute”  in our existence as a nation. We will solve this problem or it will most certainly consume us, as a nation and as a people. I believe that the United States is the greatest nation that has ever existed by any gauge you care to use, but we can be laid on our face in the dust, and that is our destiny and our just desert if we fail this task.

Posted on April 15, 2011, in POLITICS [sorry about that] and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My husband read about this comparison of the current efforts to deal with our national debt: It is like a man who makes $4000 dollars a month, spends $6000 a week, sees that he has a problem and decides to cut out one Starbucks a month. Very few people have any concept of numbers with that many zeroes when discussing our national budget and debt load, but everyone understands this example. It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to figure out that what our national leadership is doing is a recipe for disaster of epic proportions.


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