Does anyone know what 17 trillion actually signifies?
Well, it can be dollars our federal government owes to a group of somebodies who loaned us money in order to finance a lifestyle we couldn't afford.
Examining the original question: 17 trillion days ago, our universe didn't exist; 17 trillion hours ago, there was no life on earth; 17 trillion seconds ago, modern humans were yet to come.
But let's examine 17 trillion in terms of debt. Since 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income tax, this means the interest payment (at 5 percent) is borne by actual taxpayers and families. This amounts to approximately $20,000 per year per family of four. To pay off the debt, this taxpaying family would pay $414,000. This burden is mitigated because the Federal Reserve Bank is printing enough money to pay the interest, but this will not last much longer and taxpayers will then face the harsh reality of debt.
So blame Republicans for being heartless and praise Democrats for calling for even more spending.
The fact remains: A debt of $17 trillion and counting increasingly signifies financial disaster for the taxpayers.
Peter F. Zych
Hilton Head Island