In his town hall in Sioux Falls yesterday, Sen. John Thune tried to impress upon the audience how much money a trillion dollars is. The mind, he said, is incapable of grasping how big the number is, and the United States has $16.4 trillion in public debt. If you stacked $100 bills on top of each other, it would take 698 miles — the distance between Aberdeen and Denver — to reach $1 trillion, he said.
“A trillion dollars is a stunning amount,” he said.
Then he said this: If you opened a business on the day Jesus was born, and you lost $1 million every day, you still wouldn’t have reached the $1 trillion mark in losses.
A lot of people in the room were shaking their heads at that story, comprehending that the nation is, shall we say, not in the best financial position.
Ben Nesselhuf, the chairman of the Democratic Party, swears he’s heard that story before. From John Thune.
In 1996, when Nesselhuf was in college at USD, Thune spoke there during his first run for the U.S. House, and Nesselhuf says Thune told the Jesus story there. Nesselhuf says Thune has been making the same speech for 15 years.