Today’s required reading, and some perspective on the debt

Can any normal person really wrap their heads around what one trillion dollars looks like?  I mean, writing it out doesn’t help.  $1,000,000,000,000.

All you know is that it’s a lot.  This site gives you perspective, and needs to be shared.

We’ll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slighty fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go.


A packet of one hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2″ thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for week or two of shamefully decadent fun.


Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

$1,000,000 (one million dollars)

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet…

$100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars)

And $1 BILLION dollars… now we’re really getting somewhere…

$1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars)

Next we’ll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. This is that number we’ve been hearing so much about. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it’s a million million. It’s a thousand billion. It’s a one followed by 12 zeros.

You ready for this?

It’s pretty surprising.

Go ahead…

Scroll down…

Ladies and gentlemen… I give you $1 trillion dollars

$1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars)

Notice those pallets are double stacked.
…and remember those are $100 bills.

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase “trillion dollars”… that’s what they’re talking about.

Now let’s look at the debt:

After seeing What does one TRILLION dollars look like?, I’ve gotten quite a few requests to translate that into the U.S. National Debt, currently 11 trillion dollars as of March, 2009.

So here you go, the U.S. National Debt in $100 dollar bills…

$11 trillion dollars ($11,000,000,000,000)

The image above is accurate to 2009’s debt – $11 Trillion.  Currently, the US debt is over $16 Trillion.  That means this mountain of money is actually 30% TOO SMALL to accurately depict the debt.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Today’s required reading, and some perspective on the debt

  1. Lianne says:

    Wow. Graphics help.

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