National Debt Calculator #debt #repayment #plan



#debt elimination calculator

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Paying Off the US National Debt

We invite you to post your questions or comments at our blog post National Debt: An Issue for the 2012 Election.

The National Debt

It is now crazy season in the United States (read, an election year) and one topic sure to be front and center is the economy and our national debt. While it is not for us to take a political position on the ramifications of our debt (on pages outside our blog ), we feel it certainly is appropriate for us to help educate the public about our debt. And what better way to do that than with The National Debt Calculator .

To review, the national debt is the amount that the Federal Government has borrowed over the years to cover the annual budget deficits. This is money the Federal Government has borrowed on behalf of the citizens and our tax dollars are currently paying the interest on our debt projected to be well over $450 billion in fiscal year 2012 according to The New York Times.

So what will this calculator show me?

Actually, it will calculate several things:

  • The total current debt is divided by the number of households to calculate each household’s share of the debt
  • You enter the number of years you need to pay your share and the calculator will calculate your monthly payment. (Send the check in! But wait, actually you can make your payment online at www.pay.gov )
  • The monthly payment schedule shows you how much of your payment is for interest on the debt and how much is going toward paying down the debt (that’s the principal payment)
  • The first total row at the end of each year conveniently shows you the total of all payments you made as well as the total interest and principal for the year. The second total row shows your running totals since your first debt payment.
  • You can print a schedule and mail it to your Representative or US Senator if you like. Maybe you might want to ask them what they think about it. Here’s where to lookup your Representative and get their address and here’s how to write your Senators .

A few notes about the inputs

  • The Total National Debt we are showing is as of January 1st, 2012. Of course, the debt is changing by the second. You may get a more up to date number off this debt clock from US Debt Clock.org.
  • The Annual Interest Rate is the yield on 30 year US Treasury bonds as of January 1st. You may get the current yield from CNN’s bond and interest rate page. If you want to pay your share of the debt faster, then most likely the interest rate will be lower. You can check out the 5 and 10 year rate on CNN’s page as well. (It’s true that a yield and an interest rate is not the same thing, but for our purposes, it’s close enough.)
  • By default, the calculator shows the national debt per household. You can easily change this however. If you want to see your individual share of the debt, for Number of Households ( Total US Population ) enter the total US population 308,745,538 as of the 2010 census. Population and household data is available from the US Census Bureau
  • Or, if you don’t want the kids paying, enter the total adult population (those over 18) 234,646,609 .
  • Want to see some really big numbers? You can amortize the entire debt showing our obligation as an entire country by entering 1 for the Number of Households ( Total US Population ). This is the only amortization calculator that we could find that is capable of amortizing trillions of dollars of debts.
  • Finally, what’s the trend? According to US Debt Clock.org. at the present rate of debt accumulation, the national debt will reach 23.9 trillion in just three years (i.e. by January 4th, 2015). Try plugging that number into Total National Debt .

Obviously, there is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek aspect to this calculator. After all, it is very unlikely that we’ll ever be expected to pay our national debt down to zero. On the other hand, it is useful, we feel, to express our national debt this way so that individuals can more easily appreciate its size. Whether you think it is a small debt or a large debt, the characterization is yours to make.

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