I had already added up the numbers for the 27 EU countries and found that Europe's taxpayers paid €5.6 trillion in interest charges to the banks since 1995.
I've found the equivalent figures for the US on the Treasury's website. Here they are (updated November 2012 with the complete numbers for fiscal year 2012):
If you take the numbers since 1995 (so that you can compare directly with the EU) you can find that the total interest payments were $6.6 trillion - it looks like Americans have been ripped off just like the Europeans have been.
But the figures go back to 1988, which means that we get the grand total of $8.58 trillion dollars. Impressive. That's a very substantial proportion of the entire US government debt ($15.77 trillion at the latest count).
That's why the US government is so badly in debt.
Perhaps US citizens should just ask for their money back? But in the meantime, can anyone provide a reason for keeping the current insane system going?
Thomas Edison said it very well in the New York Times on December 6th 1921
"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good, makes the bill good, also. The difference between the bond and the bill is the bond lets money brokers collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%, whereas the currency pays nobody but those who contribute directly in some useful way. It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30 million in bonds and not $30 million in currency. Both are promises to pay, but one promise fattens the usurers and the other helps the people."