The U.S. Government Could Not Get a Mortgage If Their Life Depended on It

This is a trillion elves.
This is a trillion elves.

New estimates from the White House say the budget deficit is now predicted to reach $1.47 trillion dollars this year. Holy shit. A trillion. You know they tell us this shit on Friday so we forget about it over the weekend.

But what is a trillion, anyway, besides a lot? According to, the credentials of which are unclear; the logic of which is...also unclear:

A trillion dollars is so large a number that only politicians can use the term in conversation... probably because they seldom think about what they are really saying. I've read that mathematicians do not even use the term trillion!



Trillion = 1,000,000,000,000. The country has not existed for a trillion seconds. Western civilization has not been around a trillion seconds. One trillion seconds ago - 31,688 years - Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe.

Ah ha!

More contextually, from

If you had gone into business on the day Jesus was born, and your business lost a million dollars a day, day in and day out, 365 days a year, it would have taken you until October 2737 to lose a trillion dollars.

And from the article "What's a Trillion, Grandpa?"

To pay the debt in 100 yrs, your monthly payment = $277.31

Just like credit cards!

More generally speaking, as OMB Director Peter Orszag said, "the numbers represent a 'fiscal situation that requires attention.'"

Okay, that clears things up not at all. More comprehensible in our minds is this: The government is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends. From what we know about finances, that's not a good place to be. And we're pretty sure that if the government wanted to, say, settle down and put up roots and buy a place in New York City, they might run into a bit of trouble.

Other fun news: we're having a "relatively jobless recovery," which means unemployment is looking like it will only drop to 9 percent (now at 9.5 percent) next year.

The good news: $1.42 trillion would set a world record in the amount of debt we owe, and it's always something to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, you know.

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