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2 General Numbers:

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Our (present) National Debt¹:    About $17 trillion

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Ave. No. of Human Heartbeats²:   About 3 billion

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Let’s compare sizes:

Every heartbeat you take represents  $5667   of U.S. debt.

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         For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   Let me make it clear that we’re doing some very elementary thinking here. “U.S. Debt” is a tangled thing, and politicians (in office) are terrified to unravel it. But the bald facts are that our country has a big debt and we have to make payments on it, even as it still grows larger and larger. In a universe of planets, perhaps, our country would have a terrible credit rating.

   Here’s looking at things with zeros: Our debt is $17,000,000,000,000. Our heartbeats are 3,000,000,000. Strike-out 9 zeros in each number and divide 3 into 17,000. That’s where $5667 comes from.

   Of course what our debt really is not all that simple to understand because the amount isn’t fixed; it’s still growing. One observation: It can’t grow forever.

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   ¹ Want a wild ride? Just ask Google to tell you what the national debt is!

   ² We’ve written about 3 billion heartbeats before (See “Heartbeats,” our Feb 13, 2013 post). It’s an interesting way to think about human lifespans.