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It’s Only $26 Billion a day

April 3, 2009

I have recently become a fan of the social media application Twitter and lately I have been following Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.  from Oklahoma.  On March 31st he posted these remarks:

  • Congress has spent $136.3 billion each week it has been in session.
  • Congress has spent $26.7 billion each day it has been in session this year.
  • Little Known Fact: Page 72 of the budget admits it increases the federal debt by $4.9 trillion, rising by “$16,200 on every U.S. citizen”

For three weeks Congress has spent somewhere around $408.9 billion.  What does that look like?  Let’s look at some of the top ten companies in the Fortune 500 list – looking at annual revenues as a point of reference.

Rank Company Rev ($ millions)
1 Wal-Mart 378,799
2 Exxon Mobil 372,824
3 Chevron 210,783
4 General Motors 182,347
5 Conoco Phillips 178,558
6 General Electric 176,656
7 Ford Motor 172,468
8 Citigroup 159,229
9 Bank of America Corp. 119,190
10 AT&T 118,928

So in three weeks congress has managed to spend more than Wal-Mart’s global revenues for an entire year.  That’s more than all the products sold in all the Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs in 14 countries.  In three weeks congress would spend  more than twice as much as General Motors revenue (there’s a certain amount of irony in that).

The top ten Fortune 500 companies revenues are $2.07 trillion –  less than half of the increase in federal debt of $4.9 billion.

No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of money.

I guess AT&T is just going to have to sell more iPhones.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. JAG permalink
    April 4, 2009 12:59 pm


  2. April 4, 2009 2:13 pm

    Following the debates about the budget online amongst the congressional twitter updates has been interesting. In fact the budget has been the most mentioned word of the last two weeks (taking the place of AIG).

    You can follow @TomCoburn and the rest of congress at

  3. Bob permalink
    April 4, 2009 2:45 pm

    Todd, you sure know how to bring the riffraff out of the woodwork. Grand job!

  4. April 4, 2009 4:38 pm

    Amazing statistics. I was just having this discussion with someone earlier today! The whole thing is overwhelming and crazy.
    We need to take a more active role in voting, voicing, and praying.
    Thanks for sharing what you DO KNOW 🙂

  5. April 9, 2009 11:39 am

    How would praying help, exactly?

    I realize there is some confusion amongst the Democrats, but Obama really isn’t some kind of messiah and as far as I know, doesn’t answer prayers!

  6. Daren permalink*
    April 21, 2009 4:57 pm

    Let’s make it even more personal:
    If I did my math right, that means congress spends $86.00 per day for every American. (This assumes a USA population of 300 million.)

    It’s like sharks in a blood frenzy. You can’t stop it.

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