It was Sept. 4, 2012, when the U.S. government reached the $16 trillion mark for the first time in U.S. history. A debt that is now larger than the entire U.S. economy.
The day Obama took office the debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Having reached $16 trillion in less than four years -- an increase of over 51% -- President Obama can rightly be called "The Undisputed Debt King of the last five Presidents."
Under Obama's Watch, 1) Each citizen's share of the national debt has risen $17,454 to a total of $51,874; 2) Obama has added an average of 4,073,237,142 to the national debt every day; and 3) On average, Obama has added $1 trillion to the national debt every 254 days.
Because of the rapid skyrocketing of the debt in the last 4 years, by the end of this current fiscal year the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that our national debt will rise to 73% of the GDP from its 40% level at the end of 2008.
We didn't overspend. Our government has overspent by $16 trillion. We are now on the hook for all of it with our hard earned money, and so are our children and grandchildren with money not yet earned.
Eyes glaze over when a trillion dollars is mentioned, but trillions are being spent and racked up in debt as if there were no tomorrows. Not all that many years ago national debt was being measured by multiples of billions.
Very few of us will ever see a million dollars all at one time in our lifetimes, even fewer a billion. In all of human history not even the richest man has ever amassed a trillion dollars.
How much is 1 trillion? Using the US system of numbers, the short scale, and not the British system, known as the long scale, the number one trillion is written accordingly, 1,000,000,000.000, and represents one thousand billion. But the question now to be defined, what is a billion? It is one thousand million, written 1,000,000,000. Following through, a million is a 1,000 thousands, written 1000,000.
At this point all the zeros after the one mean nothing to most individuals and remain as abstract numbers in the mind, existing only as numbers that must be very big.
Following are some concrete examples of one trillion dollars that will help puts meat on the bare bones:
- $1 trillion would be enough money to buy about a 1,000 boxes of girl Scout
cookies for every person in the U.S..
- A box that holds a case of copier paper will hold about $72,000 one dollar
bills. It would take 1.4 billion boxes to hold $1 trillion dollars.
- One billion seconds ago is 31years. One trillion seconds ago, or 31,688
years ago, Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe.
- Western civilization has not even been around for a trillion seconds.
- A tightly-stacked new $100 bills totaling $1 million would be about 4 feet
high; a billion dollars would reach 4,000 ft. high or the equivalent to about
three Sears Towers stacked on top of one another. That means a stack of $100
bills totaling $1 trillion would reach 789 miles high or 144 Mr. Everest's
stacked on top of one another or or 789 miles high. That's 13,412 miles
straight up for $16 trillion!
- One dollar bills stacked face to back and then laid on their side, would
circle the globe at the equator 10 times.
Now consider how long it would take you to spend $1 trillion dollars.
- If you spent one dollar every second around the clock, it would take you
312,688 year to spend a trillion dollars.
- Spending $1 million an hour, now-stop for 24 hours a day, you wouldn't run
out of $1 trillion for 411 years.
What about your family or any median American household income of $50,000 a
If every dollar of the $50,000 were used to only pay down the $1 trillion in new debt our government overspends each year, it would take a family 312 million years to pay for it. Now multiply by 16. It would take 512 million years for a family to pay back the entire $16 billion in debt that this
Many uninformed Americans have been heard to say: "A trillion here, a trillion there, why worry about another trillion in debt? The government owes me money, and I'm entitled to it."
Little do these Americans know or care that every time the Treasury borrows money to finance a program, that money is added to the federal and must eventually be paid back, with interest.
And what happens when the government prints money? On September 13 the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee announced that it would pursue $50 billion in additional monthly stimulus in the form of quantitative easing.
After two previous rounds of QE, whose net result on the economy was imperceptible, it's doubtful whether another round of QE would do anything to help the economy appreciably.Printing money will reduce what a dollar will buy, affect your own personal net worth, and will lead to higher inflation and higher interest rates. Furthermore, when the value of the American fall, foreign investors become less wiling to invest in the U.S., with resulting hyperinflation.
The much anticipated QE3 has already resulted in weakening the dollar across the board.
Piling up $1 trillion in debt each and every year cannot continue as was the case during the last four years under the Obama administration. What is more, existing programs, such as Obamacare, will adds additional trillions on top of what has been consistent yearly overspending at the federal level.
Most families realize they can't live outside their means and expect to survive. At some point the piper will have to be paid. If payment isn't possible, the end result will not be a rosy one.
Heed the warning of Thomas Jefferson on the economy, at a time when our nation's debt was infinitesimal in contrast to today's almost unimaginable $16 trillion debt:
"I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. . . To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. . . We must choose between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude."