Update: This was updated on 2021-03-17 as on 2021-03-11 President Biden signed another $1.9 Trillion bringing the totals to $5.2 Trillion. All facts, figures and numbers were updated to represent that new number.
In 2020, since the beginning of the Pandemic, the US Government has passed 5 stimulus packages for a total is about $ 5.2 trillion. But how much is that really? Well, it turns out, it’s a lot. We’ll find out exactly how much.
Let me start by saying, this is NOT meant to be political in any way. I will not be judging the amount, or how it was spent or who got what. This is just meant to be an interesting analysis by an armchair mathematician. Also know that the data and numbers that were needed are based on our best understanding of science, and relevant data as of December 31, 2020. All time scales references are the standard Earth time as of the 21st century. Most calculations are done to two or three significant digits. Finally, I will not bore anyone with my mathematical calculations. So if you wish to question, dispute, or otherwise discuss how I came up with my numbers, you can email me.
So, 5.2 Trillion. That’s 52 followed by 11 zeros and spans 4 commas:
So how much is that? An insane amount. Way beyond a metric shit-ton even. Let me show you what I mean …
You often hear the term astronomical to describe things that are really big. Well, astronomical Does not even begin to describe how much 5.2 trillion is. 5.2 trillion is enough to spend $375.00 for every year the universe has existed, or $1.04 for every day the universe has existed. Or its $1145 per year the earth has existed. That’s $3.14 for every day the Earth has existed.
If you make $75,000 a year, it will take you 70 million years to earn that much. Assuming you work from the the age of 18 for 47 years of work to 65, if you’d have to make an average of $111 billion / year to earn that much. It’s also $66 Billion for every year of the average lifespan of an American. It’s enough to give every man, woman and child in America $15,000 or every human on earth $666.00.
If you stacked 5.2 Trillion $1 bills, the stack, ignoring compression from weight, would be about 353,000 miles high, more than would be needed to reach the Moon. It would be 207,000 ft^3. That’s enough to fill up 35 train cargo cars. Laid end to end, that’s about 503 million miles or enough to wrap around the earth nearly 21,000 times. Or to go from the Earth to the Sun and back about 5 times. That’s 11,700,000,000 lbs of $1 dollar bills. That’s about the weight of 2.9 million average cars. It’s also enough to purchase 175 million average new cars in 2020.
And for those who think we spend too much on space exploration, this is the equivalent of 229 years of NASA’s budget. And while NASA’s budget remains in the astronomical range, yet you can clearly see that astronomical is insufficient to describe some government spending.
Some sources where I collected information