As pointed out by Ask Nicola: The thing that really bothers me about this "what is a trillion dollars?" is that it acts in the service of political philosophy (anti-bailout) in a totally meaningless way. I personally don't like any of the bailout schemes, myself: you can't laud capitalism as ideological survival of the fittest while providing corporate handouts all the way & then subsiding the failures of those who profited on long-shot bets. On the other hand, I do think a massive investment project is really needed here, on the order of a Newer Deal. If we aren't going to buy the banks outright & go socialist (why is that a bad thing, again?) I sort of feel like dickering around with them is a waste of time. I am getting off track though. My real point is; how the hell is how tall a stack of dollar bills would be an important rubric? I mean-- yeah, a trillion is a large number, but you are swaying opinion with meaningless information. Lets say...how big would a piece of neutron star be with a trillion atoms in it? Wow! How tiny! It is all just stupid nonsense; quoting raw numbers is garbage unless you have context, & translating raw numbers into "moon lengths" is not a meaningful context, but somehow people are willing to accept that it is. The amount of patronizing chicanery that people are willing to swallow just makes me super annoyed. Don't you know when you are being taken for a ride? These people are pulling sleight of hand on you & you are just nodding your head & stroking your beard & trying to look thoughtful. Stop doing that! How about you compare a trillion dollars to other amounts of spending in the budget, or the debt, or some better yardstick? Like, we've spend more than half a trillion dollars in Iraq. For the record, Iraq is a different country. I'd like to think we'd be twice as interested in domestic affairs as foreign.