Understanding $16,000,000,000,000 in Debt

G. Donald Allen
I don't understand how much $16 trillion ($16T) of debt is.  So, to help myself, I break it down to terms I can understand. There are about 254,000,000 registered vehicles in this country (2009 data).  Big number this is.  But dividing the number into $16T would give a valuation of about $69,000 for each of them.  This is somewhat higher than the average cost of automobiles on the road.  Another way to put it is to say the U.S. national debt could replace the entire U.S. fleet of automobiles with, for example, brand-new, fully equipped Lexus ES460s.  Nice cars.  The total of state budgets in 2010 was about $666B.  Dividing into $16T gives about 24.  This means the $16T national debt could completely cover all state budgets for about 24 years. The total annual foreign aid budget of the U.S. is reckoned to be about $54B.  Dividing this into $16T gives about 296, meaning that...(Read Full Post)