The Congressional Budget Office’s $1.5 trillion number – How big is it?

The Congressional Budget Office released the following today:
For 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that if current laws remain unchanged, the federal budget will show a deficit of close to $1.5 trillion, or 9.8 percent of GDP. The deficits in CBO’s baseline projections drop markedly over the next few years as a share of output and average 3.1 percent of GDP from 2014 to 2021. Those projections, however, are based on the assumption that tax and spending policies unfold as specified in current law. Consequently, they understate the budget deficits that would occur if many policies currently in place were continued, rather than allowed to expire as scheduled under current law.”
Basically, the $1.5 trillion deficit is a best case scenario.  If certain tax policies do not expire (and we all know which ones those are), all bets are off.
As I’ve said before, numbers as large as $1,500,000,000,000 are something that we, as mere mortals, are not able to relate to, especially when they are preceded by a dollar sign.  Let me help you with that.
The $1.5 trillion would buy:
Enough iPads (at $499 each) to supply them to 3 billion people (the population of India, China and the United States combined).  Just think where Apple stock would be then!
Enough median priced homes in Las Vegas (at $123,000 each) to house 12.1 million families.
Enough Sony 60 inch 3-D ready televisions (at $4299.98 each) to make 348.8 million men very happy.
Enough 2011 base model Cadillac Escalades (at $79,910) to help 18.8 million families keep gasoline stations in business.
…and, if split evenly, every American would get a $4885 share.  Sadly though, that’s our individual share of the deficit (and resulting federal debt increase).
Unfortunately, all it’s going to create is misery.  Sorry.

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