Besides stimulus, what does 787 billion get you?

A look at what the federal package would get if it were measured in in inches, pounds, or seconds.

The interstate highway system, including I-5 in Los Angeles, stretches nearly 50,000 miles around the United States.

What does 787 billion get you? A lot, in almost any denomination you can think of:

•787 billion pounds is heavier than the Sears Tower (actually, heavier than 1,790 Sears Towers).
•787 billion inches is longer than 265 US Interstate systems.
•787 billion seconds is longer than humans have inhabited America.
•787 billion hours ago the continents were still forming.

With 787 billion dollar bills, you could create a map the size of Arizona and New Mexico and still have enough money left over for Maryland and Hawaii. Or you could lay the bills end to end and travel as far as Venus and back (and back to Venus again, if you really wanted to).

If someone paid you $1 million a day every day for the rest of your life, you would amass $787 billion in two millenniums – and live until April 4165.

With $787 billion, you could fight the Vietnam War all over again and still have more than enough to finance the combined annual economic output of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Or you could pass a $787 billion stimulus package, as the US House did Friday, and hope that it's enough to turn around what's shaping up to be America's biggest economic challenge since the 1930s.

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