Within the next 12 months, the US Treasury will have to refinance $2trn in short-term debt. Our national debt currently stands at $12.06trn. Our unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, Veterans benefits) currently top the scales at $106trn. See the debt clock at http://www.usdebtclock.org/
While our leaders throw these numbers around like small change, it is important for each of us to recognize the implications of such large deficits and debt.
To put things into perspective, consider the following:
One million seconds is 12 days
One billion seconds is 31 years
One trillion seconds is over 2300 years!
Consider also that if the US government were to miraculously balance the budget tomorrow and begin reducing our debt by $100M EACH DAY, it would take this government over 2300 years to pay off the debt (considering nominal interest charges)!
The current "buzz" word in Washington is unsustainable. The word we should be using is "impossible".