I received this in an email. It puts the fiscal cliff in a much better perspective.
Lesson #1: U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000. Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000. New debt: $1,650,000,000,000. National debt: $14,271,000,000,000. Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000.
Let’s now remove eight 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. Total budget cuts so far: $38.50.