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Bickerstaffe Thoughts, Breaking News

George Osborne – no good at sums, or geography, or both

09.29.08 | 2 Comments

Hat tip to Labour Boy this morning for listening to George Osborne waffle on about national debt this morning for me while I was getting the kids ready for school.  Apparently, Georgey boy thinks the UK has the biggest national debt in the Western World, and that’s a good thing to attack Labour for. Well, either he’s no good at knowing what countries are generally acknowledged to be in the Western world, or he’s rubbish at sums, or both.  According to the Office for National Statistics, the national debt was £619 billion at the end of 2007. We’ll round it to £600 billion for simplicity, because there are roughly sixty million people in the

UK.  Now 600 billion is 6 with 11 zeros after, and 60 million is 6 with 7 zeros after, so we can cancel them out and get the sum of 60000/6 = £10,000 as the national debt per

UK person.  That’s roughly $20,000. The US debt is about $10 trillion, give or take a few billion, and before we add in all the new debt, which will add about 10% to it all when all’s said and done.  As we established here, that’s about $35,000 dollars of debt per US person. 

So the US has a debt per person 70-75% higher than the

UK, and George is wrong.  By quite a long way.  As Labourboy rightly asks, does he think we’re too stupid to check?

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