Remember when politicians and government budget experts blithely spouted about taxes and public expenditures being in the MILLIONS of dollars? I do!

Then, maybe 25-30 years on, those same characters offhandedly blurted out that those same taxes and public expenditures numbered now in the BILLIONS of dollars? I remember that, too!

And finally, maybe another 25-30 years on to the present day, the undying and ever-present politicians of an entirely different generation of peoples lackadaisically spiel forth that taxes and public expenditures now count in the TRILLIONS of dollars. I note this exponential numeric progression (or is it a regression?), but also note the desultory way the politicians and public budget-workers perceive it as if it’s of no importance whatsoever!

Do you note these themes that I raise too, or not? How and when will all this end for it’s not “over” – it’s still gaining momentum – as I write? I just don’t know what the name of the number is that comes after TRILLIONS!

Donald Weyer


EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the R.S. Schaeffer Math Department at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pa., the answer to Mr. Weyer’s question is quadrillion. And there’s more after that. To read more on the naming of large numbers, go to

By the way, a quadrillion is a 1 with 15 zeroes after it, or 1,000,000,000,000,000.

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