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If the US government were a public company, this is how it would stack up

While the U.S. government is not a for-profit enterprise, here's how it stacks up against the largest American corporations, by the numbers.

While the federal work force has remained relatively flat for the past two decades, Uncle Sam employs more workers than any single U.S. company, including retail giants Wal-Mart, Kroger and Home Depot; and global fast food companies such as YUM Brands and McDonald's

Thanks to its taxing power, the federal government takes in much more in revenue every year than any single company. The government's total take last year amounted to almost half as much as the top 100 biggest U.S. public companies combined.

The government also has more assets than any single company — more than $7.7 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. (That doesn't include the value of federal land.)

Two of the largest public companies by assets — government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — used to be owned by the government. Most of the rest of the top 20 asset holders are banks and insurance companies.

The government has issued, by far, the largest pile of debt among the biggest U.S. companies. In fact, with more than $17 trillion in debt, the U.S. Treasury has more debt outstanding than the top 100 companies combined.

While its debt pile dwarfs the private sector, the federal government trails far behind in another key metric: executive compensation.

The U.S. government has a larger payroll, and serves many more customers, its top executive makes just $400,000 a year, a fraction of the highest-paid CEOs of public companies.

SOURCES: USA FACTS, Federal Reserve, BLS, Capital IQ, Equilar/AP pay study, Tax Policy Center