Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ah... The joys of National Debt!

Maxing Out the National Debt Clock

October 09, 2008 10:14 AM ET

Are you surprised? Times Square's National Debt Clock, which has been tallying up money owed by the U.S. government since 1989, is running out of spaces.

In September 2008, the digital dollar sign was eliminated to make way for an extra digit—the "1" in $10 trillion (the national debt is currently $10.2 trillion). Now, a new clock is in the works that will make room for a quadrillion dollars of debt, according to the Associated Press. Anticipated completion is early 2009.

A little history on the clock: It was created in 1989 by Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst to inform the public about the nation's snowballing national debt (back then, it was $2.7 trillion). Seymour died in 1995, and the clock is now owned by his son, Douglas Durst.

According to the Treasury, the national debt has grown more than $500 billion each year since fiscal year 2003. The $700 billion government bailout could send the national debt to more than $11 trillion, says the AP.

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