Understanding a Trillion Dollars
Numbers like a trillion are way beyond our every day comprehension. With the economic crisis taling about trillions has become common place and James Hamilton has come up with the following to help make the numbers more real.
A trillion dollars is about the total amount collected in income taxes by the U.S. federal government in fiscal year 2006. So if you want to know what an additional trillion dollars in government borrowing or spending means, just imagine what it would be like to pay twice as much in federal income taxes for one year.
So, for example, the President’s proposed budget calling for deficits of $1.75 trillion for 2009 and an additional $1.17 trillion for 2010, would be the equivalent of 3 years of paying twice as much in taxes as you paid in 2006.
Source: How much is a trillion?