HOW MANY ZEROES IN A BILLION? -- from Becky M., Effingham, Illinois
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.
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 billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no one walked
on the earth on two feet.
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 congress for $250 billion.
Well, if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman and child), you each get $516,528.
Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.
Washington, D.C. -- Are all your calculators broken?
Take a look at this
incomplete list of the taxes we pay: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL license tax, cigarette tax, corporate
income tax, dog license tax, federal income tax, federal unemployment tax (FUTA), fishing license tax, food license tax, fuel
permit tax, gasoline tax, hunting license tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, IRS interest charges (tax on top of tax), IRS
penalties (tax on top of tax), liquor tax, luxury tax, marriage license tax, medicare tax, property tax, real estate tax,
service charge taxes, social security tax, road usage tax (truckers), sales taxes, recreational vehicle tax, school tax, state
income tax, state unemployment tax (SUTA), telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal, state and local surcharge tax,
telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax, telephone state and local tax, telephone
usage charge tax, utility tax, vehicle license registration tax, vehicle sales tax, watercraft registration tax, well permit
tax, workers compensation tax, etc. etc. etc.
Keeper -- from Mark S. -- Chicago
marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers,
tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a housedress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish towel in the other. It was the time for fixing
things. A curtain rod,the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made
me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing. I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things
away meant you knew there'd always be more.
But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital
room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away -- never to return.
So -- while we have it, it's best we love
it. And care for it. And fix it when it's broken. And heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriage. And old cars. And children with bad report cards. Dogs and cats
with bad hips. And aging parents. And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, and because we are worth it. Some
things we like. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There ae some things that make life important, like people we know who are special. And so,
we keep them close!
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