Debt Clock Out of Numbers
The national debt clock, which hangs on a wall in Times Square (right next to an IRS office, by the way), has been recording the national debt since 1989 and was the brainchild of late, puckish Manhattan developer Seymour Durst.
Now, the debt is so high, the clock has run out of numbers.
The clock has room for 13 digits, to record a national debt of up to $9,999,999,999,999.
But when President Bush signed the $700 billion Wall Street rescue/bailout plan, it upped the national debt to more than $10 trillion, meaning a 14th digit was required on the clock. (Which, technically speaking, is more a counter than a clock. But what else are you going to call it? The Terror Ticker?)
Temporary solution: Durst's son, Douglas, who now runs the clock, has dropped the dollar sign ($) to track the swelling national debt, which now stands at $10.2 trillion.
The Associated Press reports that Durst will update the clock by next year to accommodate a quadrillion-dollar national debt. The debt clock was turned off from 2000 to 2002 when it looked like the debt was under control.
To learn more about the national debt, go to I.O.U.S.A. On this site, you'll learn about a recently released documentary of the same name starring David Walker, former U.S. comptroller, who has been traveling the country on his "fiscal wake-up tour" to educate taxpayers about the dangers of the rising national debt.
-- Frank Ahrens
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