PUBLISHED: 17:26 EST, 1 August 2012 | UPDATED: 17:47 EST, 1 August 2012
At more than 9 percent, the $1.56 trillion federal deficit last year was the culmination of three years of major deficit spending in the wake of the recession.
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The last time the deficit rose that high was 1946, when the nation was winding down from full-blow war production.
During the height of the war, the annual deficit was almost 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product as the government spent billions on tanks, guns, airplanes and battleships.
In a dramatic video produced by Face the Facts USA, a group funded by George Washington University, a sweep second hand counts off the massive debt that government is accruing.
Using figures from the Office of Management and Budget, Face the Facts calculated that the government spent $114,000 every second in 2011 — but only took in $73,000 in tax revenue.
This left the American people accumulating more than $41,000 in debt each second.
For dramatic effect, the group calculated that 41,210 dollar bills stacks nearly 15 feet high. In one minute, the stack rises to 886 feet — taller than the Titanic was long.
At the end of the one minute and 14 second-long video, Face the Facts reveals that the government has added $2.5 million more debt.
The government continued the dramatic deficit for this year’s budget — though decreased indebtedness slightly.
The government expects to spend $3.8 trillion next year, but only take in $2.5 trillion — leaving a deficit of just over $1.3 trillion.
None of this speaks to the the national debt — which currently stands at about $15.9 trillion, about $51,000 for each American citizen.