Tuesday, September 08, 2009

How Much is a Trillion Dollars?

The federal deficit for the current fiscal year is four times higher than it was under George W. Bush. And keep in mind that Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007 and have approved record spending and record debt since then.

Under Barack Obama, the national debt will reach astronomical and unsustainable levels as the U.S. heads toward bankruptcy and national suicide.

A non-partisan group called Defeat the Debt has launched a public service campaign to inform Americans how serious the debt problem is. Here is the first of three articles on the subject:

How Much is a Trillion Dollars?

The national debt is larger than ever before, and experts predict it will only continue to expand.

The national debt will grow by more than $9 trillion, according to an August 2009 report by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

In July of 2009, the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation released their analysis of America's Affordable Health Choices Act. They estimated the bill would add an additional net deficit of $1.042 trillion over the next decade. In January of 2008, Social Security's unfunded liabilities were estimated at $6.6 trillion, and Medicare unfunded liabilities totaled more than $36.3 trillion, according to the GAO's Fiscal Year 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government. In addition to our current national debt of more than $11.6 trillion, our future obligations to Social Security and Medicare total $43 trillion.

How much is $9 trillion, or even $1 trillion? Confronted with enormous numbers like millions, billions and trillions, it's helpful to use comparisons with other contexts. For example, one million seconds will pass in just 12 days. One billion seconds is almost 32 years. And one trillion seconds? That's 31,688 years. One trillion dollars is a lot of money, and over the next decade the US federal government will borrow that sum nine times over — more than $9 trillion.

In the next 10 years, the federal government will borrow trillions of dollars for spending it cannot afford. But the American people will eventually have to pay the price for this irresponsible borrowing.

Debt Disaster: It's closer than you think

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