The United States is in a serious debt crisis. This country isn’t millions or billions of dollars in debt. We are TRILLIONS of dollars in debt! But what does a trillion dollars 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 money they are actually talking about. Exactly how much is the U.S. national debt? $23+ trillion dollars and counting. With a debt that size, there’s little hope of it ever being paid back.