Early in November, I wrote about the $700 billion bailout, which was actually part of a much larger bailout plan that many taxpayers were ignorant to, totaling about $2.5 trillion at the time. The new tally is up to $8.5 trillion, according to information posted by Bloomberg late last month.

For those who might have missed the details, I'll say it again: The tab for the various bailouts taxpayers are funding is now up to at least $8.5 trillion. There is a laundry list of beneficiaries of this extreme act of charity by the taxpayers. We're spending $5.5 trillion in the financial markets. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is spending $1.5 trillion. The Treasury's TARP and other programs total $1.1 trillion. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is spending a measly $300 billion.

There comes a point when the numbers become so large that consumers can no longer grasp the true magnitude of them. $8.5 trillion is over 60% of our entire nation's Gross Domestic Product in 2007. Think of what that money can buy. If you want to be truly sickened, check out this list of what just $1 trillion can buy.

Or look at it this way... With just over 300 million Americans alive today, our government has just spent over $28,000 for every single man, woman, and child alive in our great country. I think I need a bailout to pay for my piece of the bailout. How about you?

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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