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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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For a bracing look at what we owe, check out ‘I.O.U.S.A.’

ELEVEN-point-two trillion dollars. That’s the U.S. national debt, at least it was as of this writing Wednesday. It’s a staggering amount that really can’t be adequately described. The combined wealth of the two richest men in the U.S.–Bill Gates and Warren Buffett–would cover less than 1 percent. Should we be presented with a bill, each American’s share would be about $37,000.

Anyone who wants to understand how we got there and what effect it could have on the future is strongly encouraged to watch the documentary "I.O.U.S.A.," which is now available on DVD. The Web site is

Director Patrick Creadon does a masterful job piecing together the history of the debt and the terrible effect it could have on the country’s future if not addressed.

Click here to read this week’s full Business Browser columns.