Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How Big is the U.S. Debt? - Learn Liberty

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How far in debt is the US government?

Let's put the numbers in perspective.

If we stacked up individual $100 bills, $100 million would look like this.

If we added up the annual incomes of everyone in the top 1%,

they would total about $2 trillion.

That's 20,000 pallets of $100 million each.

This is the total value of all assets the US government currently owns,

about $3 trillion.

In 2015, the federal government collected $3.2 trillion in taxes and

spent 3.8 trillion.

The government had to borrow the difference,

which brought it's total debt at the end of 2015, to $19 trillion.

For comparison, the annual output of the whole US economy is only $18 trillion.

But there's more.

In addition to its debt, the government owes what are called unfunded obligations.

These are future Social Security and Medicare payments that the government has

promised to retirees, but which it does not have the money to pay.

The present value of unfunded obligations is about $70 trillion.

That means that the total amount of money the US Government either owes or

has promised, and cannot pay, is almost $90 trillion.

That figure is nearly 40% higher than it was just 5 years ago.

And it's about $10 trillion more than the annual economic

output of the entire planet.

Click here to see Learn Liberty's original debt video from five years ago.

For more videos from me and other professors talking about economics,

subscribe to Learn Liberty.

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