It is sometimes hard for people to grasp the budget issues with all the zeros attached. We focus a lot on family budget issues here, so maybe it helps to convert it to scale:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent / April 2011 budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000
Now, let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Amount of April 2011 belt tightening $ 385
But the way I understand it the current part of the $385 is only about 1/10, so call it $4.
Would that make our frugalistas happy?