(This post appeared at the author’s blog.)
The U.S. government is currently creating one of the most colossal monuments in the history of the world. It is the U.S. national debt, and it threatens to literally destroy the American way of life. For decades now, this generation has been recklessly spending the money of future generations and has been convinced that they have been getting away with it.
Americans have been enjoying an obscenely high standard of living, but the party is almost over and the day of reckoning is fast approaching. It has been a great party, but it was fuelled by the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world. As many of us know, it can be extremely fun running up a huge credit card bill, but it can be even more painful to pay it off. Now our national “credit card bills” are starting to arrive and nobody really seems to know what to do. The U.S. national debt will forever be a lasting reminder of the greed and recklessness of this generation. The truth is that the United States is NOT the “richest and most powerful nation” in the world. Rather, we are a spoiled, bloated, greedy nation that has run up a debt so big that words simply do not do it justice.
In fact, the U.S. national debt is so bizarre that it is hard to know whether to laugh about it or cry about it. For today at least, we will have some fun with it.
#1) As of December 1st, 2009, the official debt of the United States government was approximately 12.1 trillion dollars.
#2) To pay this 12.1 trillion dollar debt would require approximately $40,000 from every single person living in the United States.
#3) The $1.9 trillion cap increase recently passed by the House amounts to another $6,000 for every living American.
#5) If we spent a dollar a second, it would take more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars.
#9) The U.S. national debt on January 1st, 1791 was just $75 million dollars. Today, the U.S. national debt rises by that amount about once an hour.
#11) In 2010, the U.S. government is projected to issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the governments of the world combined.
#13) A trillion $10 bills, if they were taped end to end, would wrap around the globe more than 380 times. That's still less than the national debt.
#14) Counting social security and medicare, the U.S. government is committed to future payment in excess of 65 TRILLION dollars.
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