Trying to even get a handle on the magnitude of the ND is a real challenge. Most of us, I think, can't even get what $16,000,000,000,000 (did I get it right) really is. It's a number that defies comprehension. From here down all numbers are approximate.(and many probably wrong - remember I'm just a retired working stiff) The debt is NOW more than 100% of GDP. A number most said just a short time ago would put Greece into default. Many believe that the ND should be no more than 70% of GDP. Let's start there. 70% would be about $11 trillion. So let's look at what it would take to get there. Our current deficit is running 1.4 -1.5 trillion a year. To get the ND down to we'd have to generate an annual surplus of 100 billion a year for 50 years. That would require a turn around of 1.5 - 1.6 trillion a year. Of course the task is aggravated by several very significant issues. Current interest of Fed notes is about 1/2 of 1 % - The average is about 5%. At that rate the interest would be 100 billion a year more that would have to be added to the 1.5 trillion turn around number (sheesh I'm getting out of breath) Taking more than 2 trillion out of the economy would create a loss in federal revenue of (about) 200 billion?? - we'll have to add THAT to the turn around number And many more I'm sure the fertile minds on the forum will add I got lost somewhere in the second paragraph so y'all help me out here!