A Serious Math Lesson in This Calculation

Regarding “Airwaves Auction May Raise $20 Billion,” Aug. 9:

Your story notes that the sale of a huge block of radio frequencies may net the government as much as $20 billion. The reporter goes on to venture that this one-time deal could be used to offset the budget deficit.

Apparently he doesn’t realize that the national debt is more than $8.5 trillion, so $20 billion would reduce that by about a quarter of 1%.

Let me put that in terms the average citizen might understand. If you owed $8,500 on a credit card and you found a $20 bill, do you think it would be worth the price of a stamp to send it in as a payment?


The truth is that the war in Iraq is costing about $20 billion every couple of months, and there is no end in sight. When are the people going to understand that our government is on the verge of bankruptcy?

Thomas W. McCarthy

Chino Hills