I recently read an article in the WSJ by Andrew H. Tisch entitled “Let’s Ban the Word ‘Trillion’” and I think it’s a great idea. Writing $15.8 trillion instead of $15,800,000,000,000.00 really doesn’t convey the same thing, does it?
Thanks to Mr. Tisch who someone figured out just how much $15,800,000,000,000.00 is, let me share a few of his visuals.
If you have a briefcase full of $100 bills, you’d have roughly $1 million. You’d need 1 million briefcases just to hold $1 trillion. A trillion dollars in $100 bills would weigh 22 million pounds!
If you stack $100 bills on top of each other (instead of putting them in a briefcase), you’d have only $10 billion by the time you got to cruising altitude in a jetliner. To get to a trillion dollars, you’d have to go 678 millions above the earth. Our national debt, at 15.8 times that amount, would form a stack of $100 bills 10,712 miles high.
We, the people, pay over $1,000,000,000.00 ($1 billion) a day in interest on that debt.
The numbers are mind-numbing. If you want to see the debt rise in real time right before your very eyes, check out the U.S. National Debt Clock here.