According to the U.S. National Debt Clock, our government is currently 9.371 trillion dollars in debt. Just how much money this is is actually pretty interesting.
I emailed Steven Levitt (of Freakonomics fame) for a rough estimate of how much (at current prices) it would take to purchase every economic right in the world– i.e., how much money every sort of thing, property, and salable right in the world is worth. Now, this is back-of-the-envelope math, so there are plenty of caveats, but Levitt suggested the following as a rough estimate:
WDP (World Domestic Product) * 30.
Now, since cia.gov says the WDP as of 2006 (purchasing power parity) was estimated at $65.95 trillion, we get:
So, bottom-line? Our national debt is roughly equal to half a percent of the economic value of everything in the world. 1/200th of Every. Thing.
(Until we start to inflate it away, of course!)