This is the National Debt Clock. Pay special attention to the number (the big one that is spinning out of control) in the middle on the bottom. That is the unfunded national debt. $122 trillion. (This is the debt that includes Soc. Sec. and Medicare obligations) If you look to the right of that number--there is your portion. As of this writing it stands at $998,000.00. Almost a cool million for every taxpayer.
The total gross domestic product--our nations output for a year is around $19 trillion. If we were to balance the budget today and start paying down the debt with interest--it would take us around 50 to 60 years to pay the debt off.
So what to do with this information. It is a little like being on a runaway train--the hope is that we don't run out of track. We look at the economies of Chile and Argentina and think that could never happen to us--we are too responsible. Yet these numbers don't lie and the truth is they are probably going to get a lot worse. There are one or two babyboomers (taxpayers) that might want to retire--soon.
At some point in the future--maybe near future--when it comes time to vote on raising the debt ceiling--we as a nation are going to have to focus on our $122 trillion in obligations rather than the policy dujour.
When your digging yourself into a deeper hole--the first order of business is to put down the shovel.