That question highlights a misunderstanding.
The suggestion, loosely, is that federal assets, to the tune of $20 trillion should be put on the auction block. Let’s assume that there is $20 trillion in circulation and that a market exists for all the goods.
The auction is held and assets to the tune of $20 trillion are sold. That $20 trillion would have to be replaced immediately before the shortage of circulating notes crashed the economy.
How would it be replaced?
By the only process possible – debt creation. Treasury would issue bonds to the value of $20 trillion and the Fed would issue credit to the value of $20 trillion to buy the bonds.
Exactly the same amount of debt would still exist, and the new debt would carry interest. Got that? Not only would the amount of federal debt remain the same, but the interest would ensure that it had been increased.
It is not that the debt cannot be paid off because of the sheer size, or because the economy is underperforming; it is that it cannot be paid off by the nature of the system.
The design of the fiat system ensures that it MUST continue to expand forever. Unfortunately, as is well known, nothing can expand forever.
The only question is when it will collapse.