The debt ceiling - from 1940 - with commentary:
1940 to 1960 1960 to 1971 1971 to 1979 1979 to 1986 1986 to 1997
Debt chart - 1940 to 1999
The US debt ceiling is $US 5.95 TRILLION, set on August 5, 1997.
Here is the current debt level from the Bureau of the Public Debt.
In 1940, the debt ceiling of the U.S. Treasury was $49 Billion. With a population of 132 million, that's $370 per person. The present debt ceiling is $5,950 Billion. With a population (1996 est.) of 265 million, that's $22,450 per person.
Since 1940, U.S. population has risen by a little over 100%. The debt ceiling has risen by 12043% or 120.5 times. We don't know how high a stack of $100 bills it would make, but here are some comparisons to show you how big a number 5.95 TRILLION really is.
US Debt from 1791
200+ years of U.S. government finance
Funded Debt from 1900
In detail - and updated monthly.
Dow vs Debt Comparison
Look closely at the period 1982 to date.
The stark contrast: 1900-50 and 1950-??.
The Reagan/Bush/Clinton bull.
Budget Surpluses - so they say.