This in from the United Press yesterday:
WASHINGTON, March 16 — The Senate voted Thursday to increase the national debt limit to almost $9 trillion, the fourth hike since President George W. Bush took office.
The vote was 52–48, with three Republicans joining Senate Democrats in opposition, the New York Times reported.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R‑Iowa, head of the Finance Committee, urged a vote for the bill, blaming the increase in federal spending on the Iraq war and national security.
Pam and I were talking about the fact that the US will soon be moving from trillions (1,000,000,000,000) to 10-trillions (10,000,000,000,000). Gee, if they keep this up, they can move from 10 to the 12th power to the next big number, 10 to the 15th power, or a quadrillion.
If these numbers don’t make any sense, maybe this will: The Share of the National Debt for every US citizen is now at about $27,729.20. According to my research, that’s just about the cost of a 2006 Toyota Prius. So in the U.S., every Man, Woman and Child owes the equivalent of a Prius.
I often say that we left the US for political reasons, but much of it comes from not wanting to be in the middle of the the coming fiscal meltdown. We won’t be entirely insulated from it here in Canada (far from it, in fact), but I like to think that we’ve moved ourselves slightly out of way.
It’s hard to believe that just before we left, I was talking about the decline of the US in these terms:
…It’s not only about hating (yes, I must admit it, I hate) the man who sits in the Oval Office, as well as the craven Vice President. It’s not only about how the country is clouded over with signs that read ‘Call 311 for suspicious activity’ and TV Networks that spew political propaganda that Pravda would have been happy to print or broadcast. It’s not only about more homeless on the street with no attention paid to their plight, or the fact that children no longer learn music or art in many public schools, or that people seem to think that a magnetic ribbon on their gasoline-gulping SUV constitutes support for the troops in a war that just goes on and on as far as the eye can see. It’s not only the growing cultivation of religious fanatics, both here (the Christians) and abroad (the Muslims). It’s not only the fact that atheists are not even considered citizens and scientists are seen once again as heretics for teaching the facts of evolution. As far as I look on the horizon, I see decline for the US, socially, politically, intellectually, economically, and philosophically…
Gee, not only was I depressing, but I wasn’t even close to how bad it could get. As Sarah Vowell (who I must admit, I sort of have an intellectual crush on) said on the Daily Show last month: “I talk about going to [President George W. Bush’s] Inauguration and crying when he took the oath, ’cause I was so afraid he was going to ‘wreck the economy and muck up the drinking water’… the failure of my pessimistic imagination at that moment boggles my mind now.”