Politically Salient Numbers

The following numbers tell us a lot about the political future of the United States.  They also have direct significance for your lives (and your generation).  Here’s a challenge. See if you can figure out what they are about.  I’ll post the answers and give you credit as you send them to me.  You can live forever (or, at least until Notre Dame’s server burns out!)

1. US federal budget deficit (Kudos to Lexi Becker)
$13.5 billion (October-December 2018)
Increase over previous year’s last quarter (Kudos to Lexi Becker)


2. Percentage increase in tax revenues
↑ o.2% (in early 2019)


3. National debt (Kudos to Ellen Pil and Lexi Becker)
$21,516,058,183,180.23 (and growing)

Leading contributors (rank order):  Franklin Roosevelt, Wilson, Reagan, GW, Obama


4. Americans receiving social security benefits (2018) (Kudos to Charlie Raith)
63 million



33 percent of adult Americans


6. Student Loan Debt (Kudos to Ellen Pil)
$1.5 trillion
44 million borrowers
Average Loan Debt of four-year college graduates (2016): $37,172 (Kudos to Ellen Pil)
10.7%: percentage of borrowers who default on loans (Kudos to Ellen Pil)


7.  The number of Americans over the age of 65 exceeds the number under 18
roughly 76 million vs nearly 78 million (2017 estimate for 2035)


8.  Multiple possible answers:


a) US age of majority
b) sooner than later:  Mandatory draft eligibility for men and women

6 and one-half (roughly and ↓)