Posted in Articles Economics

National debt by the numbers: Just how big is $20 trillion?

[Originally published at]

With our national debt passing the $20 trillion threshold this week, let’s look at some figures that will help us wrap our mind around this unfathomable amount of money.

To make 20 trillion one dollar bills, it would require commandeering every cotton field in the United States for 19 years (the dollar is actually 75 percent cotton) and 30 years for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to stamp out the notes. The price tag for printing this vast quantity of bills would cost taxpayers another $2 trillion.

Our mountain of 20 trillion George Washingtons would weigh in at a whopping 22 million tons, which just might actually be enough – with a hat tip to Congressman Hank Johnson – to tip over the island of Guam. Chicago’s 108-story Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, weighs about 222,500 tons, so it would take 99 such skyscrapers to equal the weight of our national debt. Guam would have an incredible skyline, which we could easily afford to build when you consider that, adjusting for inflation, $20 trillion would buy 21,000 Willis Towers.

To ship all that money across the Pacific, it would require 758,000 semi trucks and 75 trips with the world’s largest cargo ship. But where would we store it? The world’s largest building – by volume – is the 97-acre Boeing Factory in Everett, Wash., where the aircraft manufacturer assembles airliners like the 747 “Jumbo Jet.” If you were to neatly stack one-dollar bills – without pallets – in every available square inch of the monstrous facility, Boeing would still have to build a second factory to store the rest.

A stack of 20 trillion one dollar bills, if you could somehow keep Congress from snatching it, would reach an incredible 1,357,300 miles into space. Considering that the moon is only 238,855 miles away, you could place five stacks of one dollar bills between Earth and the moon and still have enough bills left to reach over halfway on a sixth stack.

A line of 20 trillion one dollar bills placed end to end would extend 2.3 trillion miles, which would go around the world 93 million times. If astronauts could place the bills in a line into space, it would take light nearly five months to travel that distance.

Continue reading “National debt by the numbers: Just how big is $20 trillion?”

Posted in Economics

Who won World War II?

Detroit slum

From Mark Steyn’s latest column, “Motown’s Biggest Hit!

… [U]nlike European cities, no bombs fell on Detroit. They did this to themselves. And the real rubble is not the ruined buildings, but the ruined people. This is an American city at the dawn of the 21st century, and one in two of its citizens are illiterate. That’s about the same rate as the Ivory Coast, or the Central African Republic …

Hiroshima, Japan (Source:

To illustrate the point, consider today’s breathtakingly modern Hiroshima, which was devastated 65 years ago by an atomic bomb.  In contrast, no bomb has ever landed anywhere near the Motor City. But by looking at these images, one would think that Japan was actually the winner of World War II.

We did this to ourselves: Decades of progressive government and naughty citizens managed to destroy what Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union could not.

Posted in Economics

New movie this fall

“I Want Your Money” is coming to theaters October 15. The special effects won’t match Avatar, but it looks a lot better than any other preview I have seen coming from Hollywood.

Posted in Economics

Impossible to pay off our debt?

This website makes the case that it is now mathematically impossible to pay off our national debt. A very interesting read.

Posted in Economics

At the intersection of irresponsibility and treason

The IMF suggests our national debt will surpass 100% of our gross domestic product in 2015.

Also states that our debt began sharply increasing in 2006. Wasn’t that when our beloved Democrats took over both houses of Congress?

At some point we must begin to ask ourselves – what is treason? The federal government has done more damage to this country than if the Soviet Union had invaded during the Cold War. Now if we captured members of the Red Army, there would be military tribunals and they would be shot. I am NOT advocating such treatment for our elected officials, however, we should realize the gravity of the situation they have placed us in with their lust for power.

Is the destruction of our republic somehow more palatable if it is perpetrated by domestic enemies rather than foreign ones?

Posted in Economics

Why we should NOT bail out Greece

And an EU bailout of Greece would violate their own charter, in case you didn’t know.

Posted in Economics

Mountains of debt

I usually cover matters of national security, but it is all pointless if our own government destroys us economically. Chart from the Heritage Foundation.

Posted in Economics

It’s your money – F35 alternate engine

See how much you pay for this:

The Pentagon doesn’t want an alternate engine for the F-35 fighter; they’ve tried to terminate the program since fiscal 2007. Congress has continued to fund the program over Pentagon and administration objections. Obama threatened a veto in 2009, but Congress still added more funds for an alternative engine. The fiscal 2010 Defense spending bill included $465 million for an alternative F-35 engine. The FY2010 defense appropriations bill (signed by Obama on Dec. 19, 2009) included $430 million to continue alternate engine development and appropriated $35 million for alternate engine procurement.

Fox News has a handy calculator – just enter your gross annual income. Other spendy bills you can do this with can be found on the right sidebar.

Posted in Economics

‘Freedom index’ shows sharp U.S. decline

According to a recent report that analyzes the economic freedoms of countries worldwide, the United States rates a paltry eighth place.

The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, jointly published by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, tracks the march of economic freedom worldwide.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, and Canada all earned the distinction “Free” and placed higher than the United States, who rated “Mostly Free.” The U.S. finished in eighth place, dropping significantly from last year’s fifth place. In fact, only three of the scores for the top 100 countries fell more than ours – The Bahamas, Barbados, and Mongolia.

Why is the U.S. no longer ‘Free?’
“The U.S. government’s policy responses to the crisis and economic slowdown have been far-reaching and implemented at the cost of curtailing economic freedom,” the Heritage Foundation stated in a press release.

In contrast, the editors wrote, “Canada’s high level of economic freedom, coupled with its sound and prudent banking sector, has enabled its economy to emerge from the global downturn relatively unscathed.”

Indeed, the Canadian dollar, which for years has lagged behind its American counterpart, is on pace to become more valuable than the U.S. dollar.

The report  uses ten categories to determine each country’s score: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom. The U.S. declined sharply from 2009 scores in most categories.

With the Democratic leadership seeking to socialize the healthcare industry, which is estimated to be approximately 17 percent of our economy, a government takeover would considerably decrease our freedom rating.

As economist Adam Smith wrote more than 200 years ago, “When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.” Perhaps the media should question Democrats—President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.) as to why their policies are making the U.S. less free.

[Originally published at The U.S. Report]

Posted in Economics

Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal’s 2010 Index of Economic Freedom is out, and things are looking bad for the U.S..

Maybe if we had a free media, they could ask the president why we aren’t taking steps to move our nation towards #1. But that’s definitely not going to happen as they are far more concerned with Obama’s “legacy” than they are with freedom.

Hong Kong and Singapore have consistently placed #1 and #2 respectively since the index began in 1995. At that time, the U.S. was the world’s fourth-most free economy – our all-time highest ranking. Today we are a dismal eighth, one spot below Canada.

How is it that we are less free than Canada? Perhaps we should send them our Statue of Liberty as apparently Canada is a better place to for the tired, the poor, and huddled masses to “breathe free.” By the way, the Canadian dollar is about to become more valuable than the American dollar.

How far the mighty have fallen.