Visualizing the national debt
To the Editor:
A recent reader wrote a letter to help the masses of people understand what $16 trillion is so we could better comprehend the magnitude of our national debt (“Understanding the national debt,” West Newsmagazine, Feb. 6). I would like to offer one more way.
A stack of brand new $100 bills that is 1 foot tall would total $1 million. A stack of $100 bills therefore that is 1,000 feet tall, or as tall as the Empire State Building, would total $1 billion, since a billion is 1,000 million.
One thousand stacks of those $100 bills, each piled 1,000 feet tall, would equal $1 trillion, since a trillion is 1,000 billion.
The $16 trillion national debt, therefore, would be 16,000 stacks of bills as tall as the Empire State Building. Picture that!
This visualization should help everyone understand the magnitude of our debt.