Wrapping Your Mind Around a Trillion Dollars

In the 1960s, a Republican Senator named Everett McKinley Dirksen was rumored to have said about the federal budget, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money!”

Dirksen died in 1969, but he’d be rolling over in his grave if he knew the United States government last week reached its debt ceiling of $14.294 trillion. While Democrats and Republicans are debating now about raising that ceiling and cutting spending, now’s a good time to understand just how much money they’re talking about.

Here’s how Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson explained $1 trillion in the following 2009 news story…

As Stacy pointed out in the video above, $1 trillion would send every high schooler in the United States to college. Here are some other ways to visualize this otherworldly sum…

A trillion dollars would:

Now multiply everything you just read above by 14, and you have our national debt ceiling.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,257 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.