The United States is in a serious debt crisis. This country isn’t millions or billions of dollars in debt. We are several TRILLION dollars in debt! But what exactly does one trillion dollars even look like? It’s hard to visualize, so I thought I’d use Google Sketchup to help get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like.
$100 Dollar Bill
We’ll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slightly 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. That’s right, a $10,000 stack fits easily into your pocket and is more than enough for a week or two of shamefully decadent fun in Las Vegas.
$1 Million Dollars
Believe it or not, this little pile of money is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff $1 million dollars into a grocery bag and walk around with it.
$100 Million Dollars
While a measly $1 million dollars hardly looks impressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard shipping pallet.
$1 Billion Dollars
Here’s what $1 BILLION dollars looks like. Now we’re really getting somewhere.
$1 Trillion Dollars!
Are you ready for this? It’s pretty surprising. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you $1 trillion dollars! And notice those pallets are double stacked.
What does a trillion dollars look like in numbers? Well, it’s a million million. It’s a thousand billion. It’s the number one followed by 12 zeros, 1,000,000,000,000!
How Tall Is A Trillion Dollars In $1 Bills?
Forget the pallets. And instead of $100 bills, what if we used $1 bills? If you stacked 1 trillion $1 bills, your stack would be 67,866 miles tall. That’s 1/4 of the way to the moon!
The US Debt Crisis
So the next time you hear someone say “____ trillion dollars,” this is how much they are actually talking about. By the way, the US is several trillions of dollars in debt with little hope of ever recovering.