A billion here, a billion there

Now, most of you don't know that my Miss Trixie was friends with Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady of these great United States and the widow of our 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Miss Trixie knew Mrs. Johnson long after LBJ died, of course, but she still heard stories from Mrs. Johnson and other alums from the Johnson administration.

People nowadays don't believe her when she shares tales about how the Johnsons were friends to Democrats and Republicans alike. And not just "friends" like colleagues, but real call-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind of friends. Times have really changed since then.

In fact, one of LBJ's friends he respected the most was Senator Everett Dirksen, a Republican from Illinois who singlehandedly broke the log jam to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed.

By all accounts Sen. Dirksen had quite an illustrious career in politics and was known for being frugal when talking about taxpayer's money.

One of his most famous sayings was "a billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you are talking real money."

So even then people were concerned about just how out of control our spending had become, I guess. A billion dollars back then was a sizeable amount.

Stack that up in one dollar bills and it's about 68 miles high or about the amount Miss Trixie spent at Creede Elk Bingo this summer.

(Poor Miss Trixie really needs to see a doctor about her eyes. Surely, it's not natural for them to roll all the time like that.)

We left "billions of dollars" behind long ago, of course.

Now when our fearless leaders want more money, they go for trillions which has led us to a national debt of about $34 trillion dollars. None of which Ol' Dutch authorized them to borrow or spend.

Anyone that knows this old Scotchman can tell you, I could balance the budget and have money left over. And with Miss Trixie and her bargain hunting skills, she could still fund all the important things like why do frogs mate and why is the sky blue, both in the current budget.

Why, we could get this old ship moving and no one would have to suffer except the fat cat politicians who currently enrich themselves while in office.

Getting back to a trillion dollars. A stack of those bills would be 68,000 miles high and so 34 of those rascals of our national debt would be 2.5 million miles high.

The combined weight of all those bills would tally a whopping 74.8 million pounds, or 37400 tons. To put that into perspective, it would be equivalent to the weight of 250 commercial planes.