A little math to PAY OFF the entire national debt in ONE YEAR

We US citizens have an enormous problem: our unbelievably huge, thirteen-TRILLION dollar national debt, which is causing our entire government to be in hock to the Chinese banking establishment.

A friend suggested an easy solution. It’s called taxing the richest of us the most, and it involves a little math. So bear with me:

A google search told me that the population of US today (11-24-3010) is about

310,776,000 (a bit over three hundred ten million people) and that the total  National Debt today is about

$13,766,000,000,000 (nearly fourteen TRILLION dollars)

According to Forbes, each of the top 400 richest people in the US has wealth in excess of

$1,000,000,000   (One BILLION dollars)

(Some have many tens of billions, approaching a hundred billion!!! Each!!)

These 400 people can easily afford to be taxed

$200,000,000  (two hundred million dollars – roughly the price of one of their mansions)

Which would raise the following amount:

$80,000,000,000 (Eighty billion dollars)

Which leaves the following for the rest of us:

$13,686,000,000,000  (not a big change yet, apparently, but bear with me)

The next top 1/10 of 1% of the US is also unbelievably wealthy.

They consist of this many individuals:

310,776          (about three hundred ten thousand people)

To help retire the US national debt, they could each easily each be taxed (and not miss), say

$20,000,000    (twenty million dollars)

That would raise

$6,215,520,000,000   (a bit over six TRILLION dollars)

Leaving the following to be paid by the remaining 99.9% of the population:

$7,470,480,000,000   (About seven and a half trillion dollars)

Now let’s consider the next 1/2 of 1% of the population, or about

1,553,880 people. They are also unbelievably wealthy by the standards of ANY

civilization that has ever existed. They could well afford a per capita tax of

$2,000,000      (two million dollars)

That would raise about

$3,107,760,000,000          (a bit over three TRILLION dollars)

Leaving the following to be paid by the remaining 99.4% of the population:

$4,362,720,000,000   (About four and a third trillion dollars)

Now the next 1% of the population is also extremely wealthy. That is

this many people:

3,107,760       (About three million people)

they could each easily each be taxed (and not miss), say

$700,000         (Seven hundred thousand dollars)

BTW: that’s much less than the value of just ONE of their many houses.

Or yachts.

That tax would raise

$2,175,432,000,000   (A bit over two trillion dollars)

Leaving, for the remaining 98.4% of the population, a national debt of

$2,187,288,000,000   (Another two trillion dollars)

Now the next 2% of the population, namely this many people:

6,215,520       (a bit over six million people)

could certainly afford a per capita tax of

$100,000         (one hundred thousand dollars)

That will raise

$621,552,000,000      (About six hundred BILLION dollars)

Leaving the following to be raised by 96.4% of the population:

$1,565,736,000,000   (About one and a half trillion dollars)

The next top 10% of the population works out to

31,077,600     (Thirty one million people)

They can easily afford a per capita tax of

$20,000           (Twenty thousand dollars)

That will raise

$621,552,000,000      (Again, about six hundred billion dollars)

Which leaves the following for the rest of us

$944,184,000,000      (Less than one trillion dollars)

By the way, we still haven’t assessed a full  86.4% of the population, or this many folks:

268,510,464   (About two hundred seventy MILLION people)

Who so far haven’t paid a penny. It’s our turn now.

The bottom half of them, the taxi drivers, office cleaners, waitresses, janitors, unemployed, and so on

are really not well off at all. Let’s see if we can leave them untaxed by just

taxing the upper half of this remaining mass of people. This half is 43.2% of the population, or :

134,255,232 people

If we split up the total remaining national debt among us (I’m in this group)

we get a per-capita obligation of


I don’t know about you, but I can afford that.

And over 40% of the population, the poor, don’t have to pay a cent.

And the entire national debt is PAID OFF!

IN ONE YEAR! (And this process would not have to be repeated again.)

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Unfortunately, the federal government does not follow “GAAP” (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), and as a result the much publicized official government debt figure you cite above is a fraction of the true value.

    Check out the excellent free documentary video at this website for more details:

    Moreover, the problem is not just the current level of the debt, but the rate at which it is growing. Paying off the current debt does no good unless our political leaders can enforce budgetary discipline on themselves.


    • If we could actually achieve a major progressive event like this — paying off of the entire national debt — that would mean that a major mobilization of the vast majority of the population had occurred, favoring some sort of leveling of the social playing field. It won’t happen with the Democrats OR Republicans in charge.
      In fact I think we could expect nearly every politician to call it a communist or socialist scheme, even though it would be a one-time tax aimed at restoring the fiscal soundness of the entire nation. It’s actually a very patriotic proposal. I guess the idea of each one contributing according to his/her ability IS a communist idea, in fact. Oh, well. It’s a good idea none the less.
      History, however, indicates to me that those who benefit the most from our system want to NOT do their part to support it. They have so far been quite successful at getting the rest of us to work for it, pay for it and even die for it during their almost nonstop wars.


    • I’m glad someone on here like you has brains. Sorry the writer above never touched on the fact of how long would it take to cut all those taxes to bring us down to a balanced budget. In case we have noticed, the government is on a runaway train that unfortunately cant be stopped. Sorry to be a party pooper but nice dream. Wish it could be real.


  2. If it does nothing more, the analysis provides strong supports for letting the Bush tax cuts for the obscenely-rich expire. But the country voted for a Republican-controlled House of Representatives who favor robbing from the poor to pay the rich.

    It also shows how badly out of whack the Tax Code is.

    I fear that bailing out the Treasury debt would fare no better than the bank bailout fared. The just go back to “business as was.”


  3. Wow, that is amazing. All of our debt gone in one year without really taxing anyone who can’t afford it something ridiculous. Now the question is will we actually execute this plan?


  4. I wish it were that easy, but it is mathematically impossible to pay off all of the national debt, due to the way that our monetary system works. Every Federal Reserve Note that has ever been created is owed back to the Federal Reserve, plus interest. This means that there will always be more outstanding debt than there are dollars to pay for that debt. Even if we tried to pay it all back, that would mean there would be zero dollars left in existence, and we would *still* be mired in debt: http://www.nolanchart.com/article2991.html


  5. If they, the owners of the republic, are so concerned about paying off a “debt” then let them tax their creditors, like China or the Arabs, to pay it off.
    If they want to, that is, the “they” that own the country (the rest of us just rent here), they can declare bankruptcy and get us, the working stiffs, back to shuvels to dig ditches and lay down more tracks, live in tents and eat in bread lines…while they plot more ways to rip off the joe working stiff and we build more of their empire up. Right on.


  6. true… you know what they say…The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money -Thatcher


  7. I say dont pay the debt off but get us back on a level playing field where we can tell countries like china to stick it and the hell with the arabs if we really have so much oil in the ground lets dig it up. with Europe in danger and Japan on the verge China could very easily take over the world lets level the playing field cut the national debt down to 1 trillion and stop wasteful spending and get americans back to work


  8. The problem with this theory is the USA taxes income not net value. We should start with you. Please pay the IRS 1/2 the value of your assets. If you do not have any assets it is no wonder you want to take from others


    • I’ve worked at a variety of jobs in my life — agricultural, industrial, service, etc. from that experience I conclude that there is on the whole an inverse relationship between how hard a person works and how much wealth they have. The wealthiest are the very best at writing the rules so that cash flows towards them. It’s their underlings who actually do the work. What the 1% calls ‘working hard’ (for them) is many, many hours of scheming and schmoozing.

      If we were to tax wealth instead of income we would find that the enormous and injustices in income are ten times worth. Huge nbers of the poor have negative wealth.

      As a result, If we followed your Aym-Ramdisn advice and tool 50% from everybody’s wealth (or lack thereof) it might actually be a progressive step. We would wipe out half if the debt of the poorest, and also redistribute millions of mansions, yachts, hunting lodges, private jets, and so on.

      In other words, subtracting a negative is the same as adding a positive.


  9. Let me start by saying that I am solidly middle class so I have nothing to gain or lose from taxing the rich.

    I see a couple of problems with what is suggested here. If you were in the top 1% and the government tried to take half your wealth you have the option of leaving the country (and taking your billions with you).

    Also, this country got itself in 15+ trillion of debt. Paying off the debt does not guarantee that many years down the road there would not be new debt. There is a reason why banks do not issue loans to people with high debt and bad credit. The actions that got those people to that state are likely to cause further financial problem in the future.

    We may all have to immigrate to Canada because merely cutting the budget is a drop in the bucket against this massive national debt. I don’t see the politicians taxing themselves and so where are we left? With only the option of defaulting.


  10. Let’s reduce the debt with a percentage of the above, but make our actions reasonable for us all. I’m a RE-TIRED worker, now self-employed. I can’t offer a large payment, but working toward a long-term pay-off would be good for us all


  11. No thank you. I have never asked anyone else to pay my debt, or pay my way. I’ve paid my own taxes and paid my own way. I find your idea of having someone else pay what I should rightly be paying frankly just appalling, repugnant, and nothing I’d care to have anything to do with. Here’s my solution: the national debt comes to $65,000 per American. Each American who wishes to vote signs up for a program to pay off their share of the debt over, say, ten years. About $500 a month, and as long as you keep up your payments, you get to vote. When your share is paid off, you are a voter for life. If you default on your debt, other people get to vote and you don’t.

    Take some personal responsibility. Be an American.


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