The U.S. government spends more than the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Australia, China and Spain combined. If you laid one dollar bills end to end, you could make a chain that stretches from earth to the moon and back again 200 times before you ran out of dollar bills! One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.

What is frightening is that government will continue to grow in America unless citizens prevent it. If government stays on the course it’s been on for the past forty years without a radical change, the federal government will have a $10 TRILLION BUDGET by the year 2010.  Politicians glibly make prouncements about the strength of the economy but a study commissioned by O’Neill sees $44 Trillion in red ink, and this study was done in 2008!  “The Bush administration has shelved a report commissioned by the Treasury that shows the U.S. currently faces a future of chronic federal budget deficits totaling at least $44 trillion in current U.S. dollars.”  By Peronet Despeignes of the Financial Times Thursday 29 May 2003.

But, with all this talk of stimulus packages and bailouts, this amount is adding up exponentially.

So, what would ONE TRILLION DOLLARS actually look like?

Let’s 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. 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 about so much. 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)

(Note: can you still see the little man in the corner and notice those pallets are double stacked.)

Now then, this is what one trillion looks like, pretty hard to get your wits around isn’t it?  Now consider this.  Within the last six months (Oct 08 – Mar 09) politicians have added approximately 3 Trillion Dollars!  In six months!  And there is no end in sight . . . we’re just getting started.

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

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2009-2020, all rights reserved

(note: this writing is a combination of material from the internet, email received and my own writing.  Authorship is noted where available)


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