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The National Debt


The national debt is increasing at about $12000 a second and totals approximately 5400000000000 (5.4 trillion). With a population of approximately 275 million people in the United States, what is your share of the debt?

Describe how your share of the debt changes over time.

On September 18, 1789, Alexander Hamilton took out the United States' first loan, and repaid it in 9 months. If the current national debt could be paid off in that time frame, how much should each person pay each second over the nine months (consider the increase in debt throughout this time frame)?

(Source: Adapted from Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, May 1999).



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