The song is a discussion of the continuous increases in the United States national debt, which is portrayed as a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Tour Guide: To your left, folks, is the Washington Monument, to your right, the White House. And over there, just beyond the Capitol, is the National Debt!
Tourists: Oooo! Wow!
There's something huge Red, white, and blue That's grazing in D.C. It's gobbling up the taxes That are paid by you and me It doesn't seem to notice We really can't afford The billions that it's costing us To pay its room and board
It doesn't roam But seems content To dwell on Capitol Hill As long as trucks keep pulling up With tons of green-back bills We've got to feed the big guy We really can't forget It has an awesome appetite Tyrannosaurus Debt
Tour Guide: The debt was born in 1790 when our new government took over 75 million the colonies spent in the Revolutionary War.
We've got to feed the monster So it doesn't get upset It's got an awesome appetite Tyrannosaurus Debt
Tour Guide: Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury (he's on the 10, you know), wanted a federal debt to provide a reason to establish taxes to support our new nation.
The debt was young, they kept it small They didn't know back then In 1812 another war would make it grow again By '66 the Civil War had cost the nation millions The government in Washington now had a debt of billions
Tour Guide: The Civil War ran up a debt of almost three billion dollars that still wasn't paid off by World War One.
We're spending money we don't have Or so it would appear The deficit is that amount we overspend each year Though congressmen and senators Make vows to cut its size Despite their honest efforts The debt just seems to rise
Tour Guide: Now the debt's over 4 trillion dollars and still growing...
A balanced budget would be great To spend within our means To stop the monster in its tracks Before we bust our seams It feeds on just the interest Its appetite is whet It never, ever stops to rest Tyrannosaurus Debt
Tour Guide: And this is the U.S. Treasury. It sells Treasury Bonds, bills, and notes, and savings bonds to finance the debt. The U.S. government promises to pay the owner interest plus the value of each bond at a future date.
We've got to try to tame the debt And bring it down to size To let it grow unchecked like this Is certainly unwise The debt's a monster problem That we really can't ignore I guess we should be grateful That it's not a carnivore We've got to keep on servicing Our trillion dollar pet It's got a monster appetite Tyrannosaurus Debt
A fiscal misadventure With trillion dollar dentures Tyrannosaurus Debt
Tour Guide: Feeding time is ALL the time.
- The Bill from I'm Just a Bill makes a cameo near the end of the song, when Tyrannosaurus Debt emerges from Congress, and the Bill, who was presumably awaiting being passed by Congress like in his song, end up fleeing at the sight of it.
- This is the one song whose spoken intro never mentions the song title, not even in a sentence. Instead, the announcer says, "What's the national debt? It's a monster!"