Wrapping Your Mind Around a Trillion Dollars

These days Congress is talking about raising our debt ceiling to accommodate our 14 trillion dollar debt. But just how much is a trillion dollars? You’ll be amazed at just what it could buy.


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.

Stacy Johnson

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