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Should the US sell Montana to Canada? This citizen makes his case to pay down the national debt.

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WASHINGTON (CIRCA) — The national debt keeps rising, so why not sell Montana to Canada for $1 trillion?

That's the proposal Ian Hammond has put forward in a petition on Change.org.

"We have too much debt and Montana is useless," says the petition's webpage. "Just tell them it has beavers or something."

Apparently thousands of people agree, as the petition received more than 13,000 signatories in a week. Hammond hinted towards the joke in a follow-up comment.

"I'm not here to complain or anything, just surprised so many people have 'backed' my 'cause,'" wrote Hammond.

Many signatories made comments supporting the idea, even Hammond's mom showed her support. The joke made its rounds on Reddit and various other internet forums. Even Montanan politicians got in on the joke, voting down a resolution against the potential "sale."

But is $1 trillion for the fourth largest state a good deal? Montana brought in $47 billion in gross domestic product in 2017, which is more than double what it was in 1998. You won't find that kind of growth in even the best savings accounts. Of course, Canada would still have to put up the $1 trillion, which is unlikely, considering the country only brought in $1.65 trillion in GDP in 2017.

The petition may be a joke, but the national debt certainly is not. According to the National Debt Clock, the U.S. has surpassed more than $22 trillion, and continues to grow every second. That's approximately $67,000 per citizen. So even if Canada could come up with the cash, the U.S. would still be $21 trillion in the red.

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