A Little
Perspective on $87 billion. 
On September 7th, 2003, President Bush announced on national television that he was asking the Congress to grant him an additional $87 billion dollars for the next fiscal year, beginning October 1, to continue the fight on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But $87 billion is an impossibly high number for anyone to visualize. Let's have a look....

One
dollar ... it's roughly 6 inches long, and 2½ inches wide.
It's roughly as thick as a regular piece of paper. 

Six dollars
... set side by side, roughly 12 inches long, and 7½" inches wide. Very
roughly, a little longer, but narrower than a sheet of writing paper
copier paper. $6 will buy you 3½ gallons of gas
(at $1.69 a gallon). 

Three Thousand
dollars ... roughly the thickness of a ream of paper, 2 inches
thick or 500 sheets. If you made a single stack, it would be a foot high. You could buy one really top of the
line notebook computer for this pile of cash. Source : Apple.com 

SeventyTwo
Thousand dollars ... is about the size of a whole box
of copier paper. This is equal to twice the amount of money the average
person in Brooklyn, New York, makes in a year. If you made a single stack,
it would be a stack 24 feet high. Source : Scientific American, Sept. 2002 

ThreeHundredandSixty
Thousand dollars ... A stack 5 feet tall. Shorter than the
average American man. If you made a single stack, it would be 120 feet high. You can buy a pretty nice house almost anywhere in
America for that kind of cash. 

Nine Million
dollars ... The pile is 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, and 6¼ feet wide.
A single stack of dollar bills in this amount would be 3000 feet high. This stack is comparable in size to a
single compact car. You could buy 505 of them for the amount,
though, with enough cash left over to fill up the gas tanks of 139 of them. Source : Volkswagen 

NineHundred
Million dollars... This
pile is now 20 feet tall, 50 feet long, and 31¼ feet wide. The single
stack of dollar bills is now climbing to 300,000 feet tall, or 56.8 miles
tall. This pile is about half as long as a
conventional tennis court. This load of money will buy you 600
million loaves of bread, or 225 million sixpacks of soda in Barbados. 

EightySeven Billion
dollars ... This is what the President is
asking for. It is
100 feet tall, 250 feet long, and 125 feet wide. A stack of singles
would be 28,998,000 feet, or over 5,492 miles, or more than twice the
distance between Washington DC and Los Angeles, California. (2,650 miles,
oneway). A Boeing 737200 jet is 100 feet long. You
could fit 2 of those jets nose to nose along the length of this
pile. $87 billion is more than all of the states'
current budget deficits, combined. $87 billion is more than twice the amount we're spending on Homeland Security. Source : Distance
between Major U.S. Cities in Miles 

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! OneHundredSixtySix Billion dollars ... this equals the
total amount of money
President Bush wants to spend in Iraq & Afghanistan by the
beginning of October, 2004 : the $87 billion he wants, plus
the $79 billion he's already spent. You can barely see the man down in
the corner. This pile is 500 feet long at its longest
point, which is quite a bit longer
than an American football field. The roof opening of the Reliant
Stadium in Houston, Texas, is 500 feet long. This pile of money is still 100 feet tall,
and 125 feet wide. If you stacked the bills in a single column, it would be 55,333,200 feet tall,
or almost 10,500 miles, or 1.68 times the distance between Washington DC and
Baghdad, Iraq. $166 billion is $568 for every
man, woman and child in the United States. It's $6,385 for every person in
Iraq. Source : Houston Architecture Info 

"Our administration is concerned about deficits, and the way they deal with deficits is you want to control spending. And I hope Congress lives up to their words. When they talk about deficits, they can join us in making sure we don't overspend. They can join us and make sure that the appropriations process is focused on those issues that  those items that are absolutely necessary to the American people. I'm pleased that members of the Congress are talking about deficits. It means they understand their obligations not to overspend the people's money." President Bush, 
With a nod to the MegaPenny
Project, copyright 2003, Dave Faris. All rights reserved. contact information. Updated : October 09, 2003 