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Astronomy and the US debt

To the Editor:

Numbers in astronomy are astronomical; the U.S. debt is in the same category. There are approximately 300 billion stars in our galaxy. It would take about 100,000 years, at the speed of light, to cross it. It is estimated there are 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Billions used to be extremely large numbers—now lost in the shadow of trillions by our national debt.

Our national debt is currently $19.8 trillion. The federal budget deficit was $480 billion in 2015, nearly $167,00 for every taxpayer. The government spent half a trillion more dollars than it took in?

Here is a perspective: if you transpose dollars to seconds and go back in time 1 million seconds it would 12 days earlier. Go back one billion seconds and you end up back in time almost 32 years. If you go back one trillion seconds you go back more than 31,000 years. If you go back 20 trillion seconds you are at approximately 600,000 B.C.

Distances in astronomy and the speed of light are unattainable and don’t affect our daily lives here in America. But the national debt in the trillions of dollars will bring the U.S. economy to a screeching halt.

John P. Rizzo