How big is the Federal Debt?
''The official federal debt will soon cross the $20 trillion mark for the first time in American history. That's six times the federal government's annual income. While the official debt reached seven times the federal government's annual income at the end of World War II, that was prior to the days of unfunded liabilities. The official debt and the actual debt were thus the same.
But when the government started promising future Social Security benefits that it wouldn't be able to afford, the official debt became just the tip of a monumental iceberg. Today, unfunded liabilities add another $100 trillion to $200 trillion to the federal debt. This
makes the federal government's total financial obligations at least 36 times its annual income.
Gargantuan debt is old news though, and politicians know it. They are keenly aware that voters have stopped paying attention, which means they can keep borrowing with impunity. But there's a new financial problem looming that will soon gain people's attention: The U.S. government is running out of places to borrow.''