Tough Topics of Tomorrow: The American Debt

America has recently set an all-time record for the U.S. Government’s public debt, which is now up to $22 trillion dollars. You are probably thinking, “Wow, that is a lot of money.” Well, it is not. It is actually more money than you can imagine.

I did some research on what 22 trillion dollars can buy and there is not one blog post or article that tells you what 22 trillion dollars is actually worth today. There are many articles that tell you what 1 trillion can buy, but not 22 trillion.

Although 1 trillion and 22 trillion are very different in worth, for one trillion dollars alone you can purchase all the sport leagues and still have “a lot” of money left over. In fact, you could buy all the sport leagues eight times over and still have money left.

I can tell you what a trillion dollars will buy, but if you don’t visually see what a trillion dollars actually looks like, it will never have the same effect. Thankfully, PageTutor.com has a website that does an amazing job of putting into pictures what one trillion dollars looks like. The link is below:

http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

Take that last image you see on PageTutor.com and picture it 21 more times. That is the kind of debt we all face in the United States. Now that you can see it, let’s understand it.

The huge increases in national debt happens when the federal government spends more than it obtains in tax revenues. To simplify the idea, when the government continues to spend and never save, the debt grows. We all know this because our parents warn us about the consequences of over spending before we are able to open our own bank account. Too much debt is when people know it is a problem, but fail to address it.

Now on to what everyone wants to know, how to lower the debt. To start, the American Government needs to face up to their financial mismanagement and develop methods to find a solution to the massive black hole of spending. On the other hand, we have to look at the Americans public debt. The American public should focus on ways to lower their own personal debt before pointing fingers at the White House.

Here are just a few steps we can take every day to improve our spending habits:

  1. Track your spending like no tomorrow!

A popular trend that has really helped a lot people recently is utilizing a daily tracker for just about anything. For example, I have utilized a daily tracker for the good spending days and the bad spending days. A good spending day looks like not spending too much on groceries or paying your credit card off in full one month. Bad spending looks like unnecessary shopping or repeated $4 drinks every other day.  The great thing about a tracker is it is up to you to make the rules.

  1. Don’t forget to save!

Being Caught up in debt can make you caught up in many other things in life. It is important to stay organized, while maintaining all other expensive. Saving is critical for everyone because it lets you have a place to fall if you get caught in a sticky situation too. The key is to save so you don’t have to take out more loans in the future.

  1. Don’t let your loans control you!

The last piece of advice to consider is to not let your debt get in the way of your dreams and aspirations. Loans can stick in the back or your mind for a long time but taking reasonable vacations with loved ones are memories that last forever.

Worked Cited

Chappell, Bill. “U.S. National Debt Hits Record $22 Trillion.” NPR, NPR, 13 Feb. 2019, http://www.npr.org/2019/02/13/694199256/u-s-national-debt-hits-22-trillion-a-new-record-thats-predicted-to-fall.

FOXBusiness. “How Much Is a Trillion Dollars? What a Trillion Can Buy.” Fox Business, Fox Business, 6 Jan. 2016, www.foxbusiness.com/features/how-much-is-a-trillion-dollars-what-a-trillion-can-buy.

Reinhart, Carmen M., and Kenneth S. Rogoff. “From financial crash to debt crisis.” American Economic Review 101.5 (2011): 1676-1706.

“What Does One TRILLION Dollars Look like?” PageTutor.com, http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html.

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