Over the next year you’ll be hearing a lot about the National Deficit and the National Debt – it being an election year and all. The deficit is how much we are spending beyond what we brought in as a country. The consumer equivolent would be how much we spent on our credit cards in one month that we couldn’t pay off at the end of the month. The debt is owed total for all our years of government. This would be like your balance you on your credit cards.
The National Debt Clock gives an up to the minute total of our Debt as a nation (through magic i assume). I found the adjusted totals graph under the FAQ to be quite telling personally.