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One nation under debt: what can our $16 trillion in debt pay off?

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 5:34 p.m. MDT

The United States debt could pay for all the student loans twice over. (screen shot from Facethefactsusa.org) The United States debt could pay for all the student loans twice over. (screen shot from Facethefactsusa.org)

The U.S. debt is over $16 trillion and rising. That’s a lot of money, and we have some illustrations of some things $16 trillion could buy.

$16 trillion and rising. That’s the US debt, and it’s a lot of money to be sure. But most of us find it a little overwhelming to wrap our heads around numbers that high. So today we’re offering some perspective – on some things $16 trillion could buy.

How about paying off every American’s mortgage debt – TWICE? Yep.

$16 trillion could also fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – about 12 times over.

The United States debt could pay for all the student loans twice over. (screen shot from Facethefactsusa.org) The United States debt could pay for all the student loans twice over. (screen shot from Facethefactsusa.org)

And if the debt continues to rise at the current rate, in ten years it’s expected to reach its highest point relative to our total economic output since World War II.

Check out our infographic for more illustrations of our debt. See “What Do Others Say?” on its implications. Then add to the discussion below. How worried are you about US debt? And do you have any confidence we’ll pay it down?

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company