About That National Debt

Looking at the below paragraph from Heritage, I decided to try to make their debt per person point a little clearer (follows):

The United States today hit an all-time high debt, passing $14 trillion, according to Associated Press reports. And with $45,300 of debt for every man, woman and child in the United States, it's clear as day that spending is the problem. Yet Washington has yet to come to an agreement on a way forward, either in the short term or the long term, though the budget plan passed by the House of Representatives would fundamentally alter this debt-ridden path the nation is on.

So why do they say $45,300 as if it is some tremendous number?  I mean, aside from the fact that it is a huge number for 90% of the country, especially if each person were required to pony up that amount or face the consequences -- "gimme my money or I'll break your legs" like.  Needless to say we'd need a lot of crutches.

But think about it.  To get a better handle on the number, if we add an additional one million people to the US, to ease the burden on each person, so to speak, how would that change the number?  It would go from $45,300 to $45,161 (I'm starting from the numbers that Heritage used, which seemed to be 309 million people and $14T debt).  

Hmmm.  If we add 10 million people, how much does it change?  It would bring it all the way down to $43,887.  Well, what if we add in all the illegal immigrants (hard to get a reliable estimate, but let's go with 20 million) --  that reduces it all the way to $42,553. 

Wait.  We don't seem to be getting anywhere here.  We're still substantially over $40k.  Let's get serious here.  What if we say there aren't 309 million in the US.  Let's say there were 400 million.  What then?  Wow, that takes it all the way down to $35,000.  What a deal!  If we simply add 33% to the country's population we will reduce the debt per person from $45k all the way down to $35k.  A sparkling (albeit cramped) achievement.

Just think.  If we can increase the population of the US up to 14 trillion people, our debt per person will only be $1.  Assuming, of course, we could do that overnight.  And assuming that there were actually 14 trillion people in the world -- according to a Google search there are only 6,775,235,700.

Hey, wait a minute here.  What if we made everybody in the world a US citizen (kind of a grand debt sharing, we are the world kumbaya scheme)?  Then our debt per "citizen" would go way down to $206.64.  We have a winner.

Just think, we could all pay off the US national ... uhm, international ... uhm, uni-national debt tomorrow. 

Oops.  Even ignoring the fact that most of those countries have their own, not insubstantial debt, the per capita annual income in many of those countries we just let join the "uni-nation" is about $3.28 (give or take a buck).  Well, I guess they can just owe us.

Now, about that $129,112 debt per taxpayer ...