18 jaw-dropping facts about the national debt
Debt Boulder

18 jaw-dropping facts about the national debt

Posted September 08, 2017 05:00 PM by Chris Pandolfo Debt Boulder
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The national debt is $19.9 trillion and growing. In other words, nearly 20,000 billions.

How disastrous is this? Are we close to total economic collapse? Consider these jaw-dropping facts:

  1. When you add the publicly held debt to the debt held by the government, you get the total national debt. If evenly distributed, that works out to every citizen in this country owing $61,321 for the total national debt.

  2. Not every citizen pays taxes. But every taxpayer owes $165,779 of the total national debt.

  3. The current interest payment on the debt in 2017 alone is about $7,709 per American.

  4. That means if we made everyone pay a one-time $8,000 tax today, that'd pay back little more than this year’s interest payment, barely making a dent on on the debt.

  5. The national debt is bigger than the value of everything produced in America over one year (U.S. GDP=$19.3 trillion).

  6. That means every dollar you worked for this year and everything of value produced in this country right now is not enough to meet our debt obligations.

  7. We are adding to the debt right now. Government estimates currently project this year’s budget deficit will be $693 billion. (But the government almost always underestimates the deficit.)

  8. The government expects the deficit will reach $1.4 trillion by 2027.

  9. That’s 5 percent of the value of everything produced in this country.  

  10. To avoid default, the government needs to make interest payments on our debt. As the debt increases, the interest payments go up, too.

  11. In 10 years, the interest payments alone on the debt will be a projected $760 billion.

  12. Between now and 2027, the government will pay $5.2 trillion in interest payments — and not one penny of that will reduce the debt!

  13. In 2015, when the debt was $18.2 trillion, it would've cost middle-class American families $1,700 in additional taxes every year to get the debt to post-World War II levels.  

  14. The debt makes your family poorer.

  15. Complete collapse is the threat of such uncontrollable debt. And collapse would mean massive cuts to government programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in a very short amount of time. 

  16. When taxes go up, social services stop, paychecks get smaller, and jobs are lost. There, you have the perfect recipe for civil unrest. This happened in Greece

  17. The debt increases at an average rate of $27,762.94 per second

  18. If it took you five minutes to read this, the debt grew by at least another $8 million in that time. 

This cannot last. Eventually we will be unable to make the payments we need to make. When that happens, this country could see economic devastation that looks like Venezuela.

In his farewell address, George Washington urged the nation to “avoid … the accumulation of debt not only by shunning occasions of expense but by vigorous exertions to discharge the debts, no throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.”

It’s time to take President Washington’s advice seriously, or we all will suffer.                                                                                         


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Editor's note: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of billions in $19.9 trillion. It is nearly 20,000 billions, not 2,000.

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.