Framing an Absurd Number

Out For 30

I came upon something interesting this morning that I just couldn’t help but pause a moment to dwell on.  The total U.S. Debt has reached new heights, weighing in now at $19,119,650,721,000.  I was staggered to see a number of that magnitude with a dollar sign in front of it. That kind of number is typically seen in the fields of astronomy and science; it truly is astronomical!  That’s a tough number to realistically comprehend.  To help me wrap my mind around it, I did some maths to put that figure into a few different perspectives. Here’s what I came up with:

If the total of our debt was in the form of $1 bills and they were lined up in single file, end-to-end, their total length would be 1,852,820,560 miles.

The distance between Mars and Earth, when they are in opposition and both are at aphelion (furthest distance apart), is…

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