In the fiscal year 2011, American taxpayers forked out $US454 billion in interest - more than twice as much was collected through corporate income tax.
And remember, the figure for national debt does not factor in contingent liabilities; once that is done, then we are looking at three figures.
Why bring in these statistics? Simply put, the ability of the US consumer to purchase luxury goods is falling, and falling sharply. In September last year, around 15 per cent of the population was judged to be living below the poverty line. And the job market hasn't really improved since then.
This means that any company looking to sell luxury gadgets - and the smartphone and tablet are just that - will have to seriously start looking outside the US.
Apple, meanwhile, will never be able to countenance the idea of releasing any of the source for iOS to others. It has long propagated the idea that it keeps everything closed to maintain quality - but I think there is a good measure or fear driving this as well.
Fear that if something is released, somebody else may improve on it in a way that Apple has never been able to do. That would really put the cat among the pigeons.
And so we have patent wars instead - Apple's way of trying to instil fear in other companies that if you even remotely look like us, we will sue you to kingdom come and take your money. Other companies are bound to retaliate where they can, so we will see lawsuits from Google and others too. Google had made a complaint through its Motorola subsidiary.
But ultimately Apple will lose. Android hasn't been around for long, yet from my own experience of using both operating systems - I have to use an iPad at my regular job - it is clear that there isn't much of a difference.
Tablets need a decent multi-tasking environment and more grunt if they are to fully replace laptops. That's what business people are waiting for. Right now, those who bring tablets into meetings are doing it more to look up-to-date than anything else.
But devices that can replace laptops will probably arrive in a year or two - or five. And given that people will have less and less to spend on luxuries, the price factor will take precedence. Guess which platform will have an advantage at that point?