Bad math.

No wonder the school system in Texas in such trouble.

I would be willing to pay as much as $50, as a one-time tax contribution, to offset the state deficit if it could be used to save thousands of jobs. If only a few million Texans felt the same way and donated an equal flat-rate amount of $50, who knows, it might even leave the state with a surplus.

A few million. We’ll just call it 6 million. So, let’s do the math.

$50 x 6 million = $300 million. Pretty hefty chunk of change, right?

Well, so’s the state budget deficit. $27 billion.

So, what portion of 27 billion is 300 million? Try just a shade over 1.1 percent. A surplus, huh?

Of course, that’s only for 6 million people. But even assuming all 25.3 million Texans pitch in 50 bucks, we still wouldn’t even come close to making a dent in the budget deficit.

I know what he was getting at. Some might say I was being pedantic. But he’s the one who suggested a maximum donation of $50 per person. Granted, though, that does sound better than, say, $5,000 per person…



5 Responses to “Bad math.”

  1. Albatross Says:

    Millions, billions, and trillions are just *illions on a page to most people, and the media know this. It’s hard to get a grasp on just how huge these numbers are, but news people don’t like to type out all the zeros that would give these numbers the proper perspective. It’s not the industry convention to do so.

    But I think everyone who reads such news items should take a moment to remember that 1 million, 1 billion, and 1 trillion are, in the U.S., written out like this:


    You have to have one million piles of $1 million each to make one trillion dollars. And the U.S. budget for 2011 is $3.8 trillion.

    That’s a lot of piles.

  2. southtexaspistolero Says:

    It’s not the industry convention to do so.

    Oh, I know. Remember, I once wrote for money and will with luck be doing so again soon. 😉 Thing is, though, they shouldn’t have to type it out. The people reading should know, and the fact that they don’t is yet another failure on the part of a lot of people.

  3. Albatross Says:

    The people reading should know,

    Yes, they should.

  4. Mattexian Says:

    I thought plenty of Texans were already contributing to the education funds, by buying lottery tickets left and right! Isn’t that what they sold it to us with, “it’ll be for the chil’ren”? I vaguely recall them having a not-so-big to-do for the anniversary of the Texas Lottery a couple of years ago, where they reminded us how great it had been for the education funds, and according to them, it’s benefited students by $13 billion over 13 years.

  5. Les Says:

    I think we already spend more per student than anyone else and rank way low on accomplishments of our students (after 5th grade) than the other 1st world countries. Money isn’t the answer to educational problems. Neither is the Federal Government. Then too, teachers cannot be the only ones employed and expect to be paid.

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