41 Scary Facts About The National Debt


Photo: sleekaesigns via flickr

It really is hard to find the words to describe the true horror of the national debt. The U.S. government has been on the greatest debt binge in all of human history, and a day of reckoning is coming that is going to be so painful that it is going to shock America to the core. 

Click here to see the facts >
We have lived so far above our means for so long that none of us really has any concept of what “normal” is like anymore. 

The United States has enjoyed the greatest party in the history of the world, but now this decades-old party is ending and the bills are coming due.  It was Dick Cheney who famously said that “deficits don’t matter”.  Well, try telling that to the nation of Greece right about now.  The horror that Greece is just beginning to experience is a preview of what is going to happen to us as well.  Only when it happens to us it is going to be so much worse, because when we go down we are going to bring the entire global financial system down with us.

What we have done to future generations is beyond sickening.  Previous generations entrusted to us the greatest economic machine in the history of the world and we destroyed it.  Now we are leaving to our children and our grandchildren an economic future that has been totally wiped out and a national debt of more than 14 trillion dollars that we expect them to repay.

In Washington D.C. these days, there is a lot of talk about the debt ceiling.  But whatever the politicians do, it is not going to solve our debt problems.  If the debt ceiling does not get raised, we move the financial pain into the present.  World financial markets would crash and that would be followed by a devastating economic nightmare.

If we do raise the debt ceiling, that will “kick the can down the road” a little bit farther.  However, world financial markets will still crash eventually and our eventual economic nightmare will be even worse.

Well, can’t we just “inflate our way” out of debt?

No, unfortunately things are just not that easy.  If we try to inflate our way out of debt, interest rates will likely rise just as quickly as inflation does, and that would be absolutely catastrophic.

Before interest rates even reached 20% we would hit a point where it would take every single dollar taken in by the federal government just to pay the interest on the national debt.

Meanwhile, rapidly rising inflation would devastate the value of all of your bank accounts and every other single financial asset that you own.

So no, inflating our way out of debt is not going to work.

At the moment, the U.S. federal government is able to borrow gigantic quantities of money at super low interest rates.

When that changes, all hell is going to be unleashed.

The following are 41 statistics about the national debt that are almost too crazy to believe….

This post originally appeared on The Economic Collapse.

As of June 20th, the U.S. national debt was $14,344,524,186,068.19

Source: US Treasury

30 years ago, the U.S. national debt was approximately 14 times smaller

From the presidency of George Washington to the presidency of Ronald Reagan for the U.S. accumulated 1 trillion dollars of debt

Since then, we've added an addition $13 trillion

The US government is responsible for over a 1/3 of all government debt in the world

Divide up the national debt equally among all U.S. households and each owes over $125,000

Source: CNS News

Mandatory federal spending will surpass total federal revenue for the first time this fiscal year. That wasn't supposed to happen until 50 years from now

From 2007-2010, U.S. GDP grew by 4.26%, but U.S. national debt soared by 61%

Source: The Street

The federal government has borrowed 29,660 more dollars per household since Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus law

Source: CSN News

During Obama's first 2 years in office, the U.S. government added more to the national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined

Source: CSN News

The U.S. national debt is currently rising by over 4 billion dollars every single day

The U.S. government is borrowing over 2 million more dollars every single minute

The U.S. government borrows an average of about 168 million dollars every single hour

Source: The Daily Mail

The combined debt of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae has increased to 6.4 trillion in 2011. This is debt that's not included in the $14.3 trillion national debt figure

Source: Market Oracle

Some experts estimate that the unfunded liabilities of the U.S. government for entitlement programs are in the neighbourhood of $60 trillion. Other experts claim that it could be well over $100 trillion

The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every single dollar that it spends

Source: Washington Post

The total compensation that the federal government workforce earned last year came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars

The U.S. government has spent $2.6 million dollars studying the drinking habits of Chinese prostitutes & $400,000 dollars for researchers to cruise bars in Buenos Aires, Argentina to see why gay men engage in risky sexual behaviour when drunk

Source: The Truth and Fox News

Source: ABC News and Telegraph

Just one day of the war in Afghanistan costs more money than it took to build the entire Pentagon

In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income. Today, they account for 18.4% of all income

59 per cent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another

Source: Zero Hedge

In 1965, 1 in 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, it's 1 in 6 Americans

Today, each retiree's Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers. By 2025 it is projected that there will be approximately two workers for each retiree

U.S. households are now actually receiving more money from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes

Source: MSN

In the 1950s, corporate taxes accounted for about 30% of all federal revenue. In 2009, corporate taxes accounted for 6.6%

Source: New York Times

The U.S. national debt has increased in size for 54 years in a row

Source: The Debt

Were the U.S. government forced to use GAAP accounting principles (like all publicly-traded corporations), its budget deficit would be around $4 trillion to $5 trillion every year

Source: Market Oracle

According to a U.S. government report, interest on the national debt and mandatory spending on entitlement programs will absorb approximately 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue by the year 2019

The U.S. government spent over $413 billion on interest on the national debt during fiscal 2010.

Approximately one out of every four dollars that the U.S. government borrows goes to pay the interest on the national debt

It is projected that by the year 2021, interest payments on the national debt will amount to $1.1 trillion a year

f interest rates move up slightly, the interest on the national debt is going to be a whole lot worse

If the U.S. national debt was reduced to a stack of 5 dollar bills, it would reach three quarters of the way to the moon.

Source: The Daily Mail

A trillion $10 bills, if they were taped end to end, would wrap around the globe more than 380 times. That's still not enough to pay off the U.S. national debt

Source: Defeat The Debt

If Bill Gates gave every penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days

Source: The Daily Mail

If you were alive in the year 1 AD and spent 1 million dollars every day since, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now. But this year alone the U.S. government is going to add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt

If you went out today and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you over 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars

If the federal government began to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay it

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.