The US Debt Clock Makes Us Queasy

US debt clockThe folks over at a website called have put together a chilling visual reminder of the quicksand we are in the process of building our financial house upon. It’s called the US Debt Clock. We decided to put together a list of some of the scarier numbers we found there, though the counters are spinning so fast we can’t pin anything exactly. Our best estimate will have to suffice.

US National Debt: This number is the entire indebtedness of our nation. The number has passed $13 trillion and is more than halfway to $14 trillion.

Debt per taxpayer: This number presently stands at a little over $125,000.

Debt per citizen: Each man, woman, and child has a percentage of the debt equal to more than $44,000.

Federal Tax Revenue: The Federal government has taken in slightly over $2 trillion in taxes this year.

Federal Spending: If you’re looking to find the basic problem for all this numerology, it starts here. Spending to date this year is almost $3.5 trillion dollars. Now take a look back up at tax revenue. Compare what the government takes in to what it spends. Now look at the next number below.

Federal Budget Deficit: We have spent $1.3 trillion more dollars than we have taken in. If you ran your family budget like this, you’d be living on credit and waiting for the hammer to fall.

Biggest Budget Items: In order, here are the three biggest chunks of the federal budget: Medicare/Medicaid ($789 billion), Social Security ($699 billion), and Military/Defense ($689 billion).

Total US Debt: This includes all levels of government, as well as household, business, and financial institution debt, and totals almost $55 trillion.

Total National Assets: $69 trillion is the number we would get if every citizen and organization cashed out everything and put it in nice, big pile. Apparently, there is a way out of this mess, sell everything we own, give it to the government to pay off the debt, and start again from scratch. Who’s with us?

After perusing the numbers at US Debt Clock, and stopping to regurgitate our lunch into the trashcan, one clear question pops into our collective minds. What comes after a trillion?

The American Monetary Association Team

American Monetary Association

Flickr / Alina Sofia

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