Fort Knox holds 147.3 million ounces of gold in the Depository. (http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/fun_facts/index.cfm?action=fun_facts13)
147,300,000 oz X $1000= 147.3 Billion Dollars.
United States Gold Reserves:
286,900,769.5oz x $1000= $286,900,769,516.91
(I would like to qualify the US Gold Reserves, while the Federal Reserve Banks in the US hold our gold reserves, it also holds foreign and private reserves as well. So my calculation of the gold in the US Gold Reserves may contain gold that is not ours...)
Now the current National Debt is:
While selling off all our Gold would be a good start in paying down the national debt, it would not reduce it. I assume that is what you are advocating we do with the sale of all the country's God Reserves. While this country owes people a lot of money, our National Debt is sold on the open market in the form of Bonds. Now, not all of our bonds are due at one particular date. So we do have time to pay off what we owe.
The real key to paying down the National Debt will be to cut spending and taking more money in than what you spend. Balancing the budget and having a budget surplus (on paper) doe not actually count. Having an actual surplus and not spending it on government programs, but paying off the National Debt is another thing.
I am afraid that if we sell off all of our Gold and Silver reserves it will do one of two things:
1. It will probably flood the market and lower the price of Gold/Silver.
2. Cause more panic with the US Dollar on the International Markets because now the US Dollar and our National Debt is basically backed by "Nothing Much."
There is already a 'fire sale' going on with the financial institutions in the United States. What concerns me (and this is not coming from a xenophobic view) is that if foreign institutions and governments own most of the financial institutions and corporations in this country, I fear the US dollar may be perceived as even weaker.
PS- I am not an Economics guru.