MaryLou Sunderland: What do you do with a trillion dollars? |

MaryLou Sunderland: What do you do with a trillion dollars?

After the Republicans passed their tax bill this week, and the Congressional Budget Office informed us that it would add $1,000,000,000,000 to our federal deficit, I started thinking about the things we could buy with that money. Here are a few of the things I came up with:

• At $30,000 a year, you could send 8,333,333 kids to college for four years.

• On the other end of the educational spectrum, current spending on the Head Start program nationwide is $9,253,095,000, so you could provide 108 years of early education.

• At $6,200,000,000 per year, you could fund the Women and Infant Care program for 161 years.

• With salaries of (approximately) $50,000 a year, you could hire 20,000,000 forest rangers and conservationists or give $5,319,148,936 to each of the National Parks and Monuments.

• At $22,000 each, 45,454,545 individual homes could install solar panel systems.

• We could buy 769,231 utility-grade wind generators, each of which would power 500 households for 20 years.

• A beautiful new bridge has just been completed in Glenwood Springs at a cost of $125 million. We could have 8,000 of those.

• Fighting the wildfires in the U.S. last summer cost about $2,000,000,000. Our trillion dollars could handle 500 summers like those.

• Puerto Rico’s hurricane cost estimates vary between $45 billion and $95 billion dollars, so on the low side we could deal with 22 of those hurricanes and on the high side, 11.

• And, according to the IRS statistics by state, in 2015, Colorado had 2,109,430 taxpayers with incomes of less than $100,000. If we divided that $1,000,000,000,000 up evenly among those people, everyone would take home a little gift of $474,062.

I also thought about how we could be addressing the health-care needs of the people who can’t afford insurance now, along with the additional 13 million people who will lose their health insurance because of this tax bill, the scientific research that improves all our lives that we could be supporting, our crumbling infrastructure we could be rebuilding and the environment we could be protecting instead of damaging.

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and all but one of his fellow Republican Senators decided instead it would be better to give that money to the richest corporations and individuals in America and stick our children with the bill. What a waste!

MaryLou Sunderland

Steamboat Springs

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