What Can You Buy For $700 Billion?

The world's largest gumball, for one

While Secretary of State Hank Paulson pushes for the government to issue a $700 billion bailout, most of us in the media are still trying to comprehend just what that sum translates into.

For a better perspective on just how massive this bailout really is, check out Zephyr Teachout’s post yesterday on techPresident:

It is $140 billion more than has been spent on the Iraq war since the invasion.

It is $120 billion more than that spent on social security benefits.

It is almost 3 billion nonrefundable bus fares from Durham to San Francisco, leaving tomorrow.

It is nine times the amount spent on education in 2007.

It could pay for 2,000 McDonalds apple pies for every single American.

That’s a lot of pie. Here are some more numbers that we came up with to help you wrap your head around how much money $700 billion really is:

- It would reimburse banks, home owners, and local governments for nearly 9 million foreclosures
- It could prevent over 200 million foreclosures
- It could buy 8.6 billion monthly Metrocards
- The government could rebuild Katrina-ravished New Orleans and Gulf Coast … three and a half times
- Roughly 538 Yankee Stadiums could be built
- 5.4 million students could be sent to a public university
- It equals nearly 520 times the amount of Amtrak’s current operating budget
- It is $14 billion more than the U.S. spent during the Vietnam War

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Megan McGinley is an intern at CJR.