"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space." -- Douglas Adams
Like Douglas Adams' description of space, the economic issues in this country have become quite big. In fact, most people are, in a very real way, unable to comprehend how "vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big" our problems have become. It's all "trillions" this, default that, Apoco-bankruptcy-Armagedde-debt-alipse. That's why so many people look at you like a cat peering at a calculus book when you try to explain the scope of issues we're facing.
Unfortunately, once people get to that point, their brains usually turn off and they tend to conclude things aren't really so bad because they don’t see members of Congress running around in circles, wetting themselves in terror on television. This is a mistake because most members of Congress are wealthy, influential, and assume that even if the rest of us are sleeping in cardboard boxes and eating cat food, they'll be dining on steak in some plush, gated villa. Sadly, they’re probably right about that.
With all that in mind, since there's unlikely to be a "Members Of Congress And The President Have To Live Like The Rest Of Us If We Go Bankrupt" bill that's passed in the near future, it seems prudent to offer up some statistics that may, if you're open to it, cause you to look at America's economic situation in a new way -- sort of like a goose that realizes it's about to be chopped open by a greedy farmer for its golden egg and flies off to find a nice swallow in Capistrano instead.
1) "How do you ‘invest in the future’? By borrowing $188 million every hour. That’s what the government of the United States is doing. It’s spending one-fifth of a billion dollars it doesn’t have every hour of every day of every week — all for your future!" -- Mark Steyn
One hesitates to start off with a statistic that hints at the almost infinite amount of money we're spending right now because it's nearly too big to comprehend. That being said, we do need to give people a sense of how far beyond our means we're living right now.