Putting $829 billion into perspective

Grant Ellis
Forgetting inherent inaccuracies and the usual political nonsense, it's reported here that the CBO figures 10 years of the Baucus health care bill (ObamaCare) will cost $829 billion.

In an effort to put $829 billion in perspective, I thought a comparison to NASA's budget might do the trick. Conveniently located here I found every annual NASA budget going back to 1958.

Bottom line: From 1958-2009, NASA has been budgeted $433 billion dollars which equates to $824 billion dollars in constant 2007 (inflation adjusted) dollars.

How's that for perspective? In 51 years, NASA has spent $5 billion less (in 2007 dollars) than the forecasted 10-year cost of ObamaCare (in, I presume, 2009 dollars). Call it a wash.

One other statistic I found interesting: according to the referenced budget schedule, the 1958 budget of $89 million equates to $488 million in 2007 dollars. Think about that. In 49 years, our money has lost almost 82% of its original value. Looking at this in another way, if you hired on with NASA in 1958 at a salary of $8,900 per year and received a raise of 3.54% every year thereafter by 2007 you would be making $48,800 and your purchasing power would not have increased at all. That is what an inflationary monetary policy does. It provides the illusion of wealth while robbing you blind.
Forgetting inherent inaccuracies and the usual political nonsense, it's reported here that the CBO figures 10 years of the Baucus health care bill (ObamaCare) will cost $829 billion.

In an effort to put $829 billion in perspective, I thought a comparison to NASA's budget might do the trick. Conveniently located here I found every annual NASA budget going back to 1958.

Bottom line: From 1958-2009, NASA has been budgeted $433 billion dollars which equates to $824 billion dollars in constant 2007 (inflation adjusted) dollars.

How's that for perspective? In 51 years, NASA has spent $5 billion less (in 2007 dollars) than the forecasted 10-year cost of ObamaCare (in, I presume, 2009 dollars). Call it a wash.

One other statistic I found interesting: according to the referenced budget schedule, the 1958 budget of $89 million equates to $488 million in 2007 dollars. Think about that. In 49 years, our money has lost almost 82% of its original value. Looking at this in another way, if you hired on with NASA in 1958 at a salary of $8,900 per year and received a raise of 3.54% every year thereafter by 2007 you would be making $48,800 and your purchasing power would not have increased at all. That is what an inflationary monetary policy does. It provides the illusion of wealth while robbing you blind.