In light of these desperate economic times, Stephen Barnwell has given the United States of America an aid package worth $535 Trillion.  On July 4th, 2010, this massive stimulus package was given directly to Congress with each and every US Senator and Representative receiving his or her own One Trillion banknote.  It is Stephen’s intention that they will serve as constant reminders of the true value of a trillion dollars, as well as where our nation’s money is coming from. Each of Stephen’s banknotes is a limited edition fine art print with a unique serial number, individually printed and hand finished by the artist. A special edition of 600 SERIES C notes was printed for Congress. A normal edition of 1,000 SERIES A notes are avilable for purchase here on this site.


With each Indebted States of America print, every member of Congress received an open letter,
appealing for fiscal responsibility:

Letter to Congress (pdf)





The Art of the Prank

The Bailout project was first covered on Joey Skaggs' definitive pranks and hoaxes site.

Stephen was interviewed by Ambreen Ali for her article on political activism and the arts.

Rhetorics & Heretics

The American Jingoist

Save Our State


The Bitter Patriot






The Money

In January 2010, Stephen began the project by printing a special edition of the Indebted States of America notes, with the series letter of "C". It was a run of only 600, which allows for 100 Senators, 435 Representatives, and a few left over to send to the press and friends.



Stephen then designed and printed custom letterhead and envelopes for the Congressional mailing. The designs feature a black and white version of the Capitol Pagoda vignette from the reverse of the notes.



Individually signing all 535 letters with original signatures.


Serial No. 1

The first serial number, C00000001C, went to the biggest spender on Capitol Hill, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.



Finally finished stuffing, and ready to mail. Also being mailed out are over fifty press releases, some including Series C notes as gifts.


Mailing Day

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
9:15 am

The letters were mailed so that they would arrive at the offices of Congress by July 4th.

For the media, an online press kit is available here