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Legacy we are leaving next generations is staggering

Nov 19, 2013 - Michael Dale Smith, Riverton

Editor:

Since that warm, sun-filled morning in July 1944, the day ol' Doc Kendall delivered me, the sun has risen and sent 25,310 times. The hands on the clock have gone around 50,620 times, marking off the 607,400 hours I have been alive. I ponder on just how many times my heart has beaten these past 36,444,000 minutes since I came crying into this earthly realm. The thought stuns me. There has been a continuous stream of 2,623,968,000 thumps that have echoed beneath my ribs.

One can't help but wonder just how many times neurons have fired in my brain, the synapses triggering the innumerable thoughts that have coursed through and then been stored in my gray matter, and of many forgotten, and those 2,186,640,000 seconds as my life so swiftly passed by.

If I had been given and saved a $100 bill for every second I have lived, my net worth would be a staggering $218.6 billion, a handsome sum indeed.

And yet, if it were real, I would be sad. I would cry and wail as I mourn for my and your children, our grandchildren and those who will come after them. My sadness is rooted in the fact that as I fantasize and had in fact been given that fabulous sum of money, and in a moment of generosity I had, in turn, given it to the Treasury of United States, I would still be short $16,946,332,370,598 of being able to pay off the excess of the politicians in Washington D.C. That's $19.9 trillion.

Talk about a reality check. It kind of gives a different slant on "spend now, pay later."

The thought of the legacy our country is saddling our children and grandchildren with is enough to make an old man's heart stop. So before I leave behind this earthly realm, if there is indeed anyone out there who honestly believes we can pay off the staggering national debt without drastically shrinking the size of government and cutting the continuing ongoing increases in deficit spending, let's just say I have some desirable, tropical, beachfront property near Jeffrey City, Wyo., available at a rock-bottom price.

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