My chronicle of how the IRS and Tax Court affect taxpayers' daily lives.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Facts

Lee Eisenberg ( and Adam Brooks send me great e-mails with interesting financial facts every month.  As many of them are market related, so I can't repeat them without a license, but here are a few good ones that catch my eye:

A LOT OF MONEY - Outlays for the mandatory government programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid during fiscal year 2009 (i.e., the 12 months that end 9/30/09 or later this month) are expected to total $1.36 trillion. A stack of $100 bills 923 miles high is equal to $1.36 trillion. The distance between Chicago and New Orleans is 923 miles (source: Office of Management and Budget).

BUNDLE OF JOY/DOLLARS - A family with before-tax income of at least $100,000 that had a newborn in 2008 will spend $367,000 (in 2008 dollars) to raise that child through age 17 (i.e., not including the cost of college). After factoring in the impact of inflation, the 17-year cost rises to $484,000 (source: Department of Agriculture).

GETTING BETTER - Nearly half of Americans surveyed (46%) believe the US economy is going to improve in the upcoming 12 months, double the percentage (22%) that believe the economy will get worse (source: Harris Poll).

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Aaron Blau, E.A. is the Vice President of the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents and a member of the Government Relations Committee of the National Association of Enrolled Agents. The opinions and ideas expressed here are in no way representative of the official position of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents or the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents.

For official comments, please e-mail NAEA Director of Communications at or Arizona Society president

"To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that, to the extent this communication (or any attachment) addresses any tax matter, it was not written to be (and may not be) relied upon to (i) avoid tax-related penalties imposed under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (or in any such attachment). In addition, nothing herein is intended to convey an expression of an opinion as to the likelihood a tax position would ultimately prevail if challenged by the IRS. This communication is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed; no one else should rely on the tax advice provided herein. The person to whom this advice is addressed is under no obligation to keep the advice or matters related to the advice confidential."