$17 Trillion and Counting

ob2Congress is beginning 2014  with a bipartisan budget deal that busts right through “caps” it was supposed to have on spending.

To understand the amount of debt [$17 trillion]  we’re already under, we need to put it into perspective.

One trillion dollars is one thousand billion, that’s with 12 zeros – $1,000,000,000,000.

At about $30.5 million a year, 2013’s highest paid NBA player, Kobe Bryant, would need to work 32,837 years to earn one trillion or 558,229 years to earn $17 trillion.

An average person’s life span in the U.S. is 2.5 billion seconds.  One second ago it was 1981.  One trillion seconds ago it was 29,700 B.C.   17 trillion seconds is more than one-half million years ago.

One trillion-dollar bills stacked on top of one another would reach 67,000 miles.  Seventeen trillion-dollar bills stacked on top of one another would stretch from the earth to the moon 4 times and still have money left over.

Seventeen trillion one dollar bills stretched end to end would give you a round trip to Saturn.  Seventeen trillion one dollar bills stretched end to end would circle the globe 66,663 times

One billion hundred dollar bills  stacked on top of each other would be as tall as the Empire State Building.  One trillion hundred dollar bills stacked on top of each other would be 631 miles high.

The population of the U.S. is estimated at 317 million.  If every man, woman and child assumed their share of the national debt, they’d owe $52,678 each.  Don’t have $52,678?  If we ask the entire world population of 7 billion to help and each coughed up a mere $2,000 dollars, we’d still be short more than two trillion.

If we paid off the national debt at the rate of $1 a second it would take more than one-half million years to get out of debt and that doesn’t include the interest.   If we paid off the national debt at $1 billion a day [$365.25 billion a year] it would take us 46 years  to get out of debt and that doesn’t include the interest.

With seventeen trillion, you could sod 66,810 square miles of land, the equivalent of the entire states of Virginia and West Virginia.

So How Much Is $17 Trillion  —  TOO MUCH

The U.S. National Debt exceeds  more than 100% of U.S. economic output. At this level, it’s unsustainable, and will ultimately drag economic growth.  Why? The debt is financed by U.S. Treasuries,  a large portion of which is held by foreign governments. As more debt is issued, the dollar declines in value. This means foreign holders of US debt get paid back in currency that’s worth less, further decreasing demand.  Worst of all?  The debt will have to ultimately be paid back by our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren through increased taxes.  But no matter how high those tax increases are, in truth, it is highly unlikely that the national debt will ever be paid.  The more debt there is in a society, the more current income is needed to service that debt rather than create new wealth.

In short, the national debt, as destructive as it is and as badly as we need to eliminate it, is only the symptom. The actual disease is the modern democratic redistributionist state that grants favors, privileges, and benefits to some citizens paid for by others.

We will reap the bitter fruits of what we are now sowing.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *