Five Facts About the National Debt Clock

The National Debt Clock has been running in Manhattan for all but two years since 1989. The National Debt Clock was located on 42nd Street near Bryant Park. Today and since 2004 the National Debt Clock is located on a building at 1133 Avenue of the Americas just east of Times Square. The thing I find most quizzical about the National Debt Clock is the fact that it is located as a direct neighbor of an IRS location at 110 West 44th Street. I passed it again the other day and got to wondering, who in the heck is even responsible for the National Debt Clocks upkeep? Why do they have to keep reminding us of our own family’s individual contribution to the national debt? So I dusted off the history tomes and I found out; five things you’ve always wanted to know about who is responsible for the National Debt Clock.

1) Debt Clock Idea: Seymour Durst:
It was real estate legend Seymour Durst (from the Durst Family) who came up with the idea for an ever present clock. It was his own little way to keep all citizens informed and engaged as people’s eyes would be directed to the growing national deficit and your family’s individual contribution to this amount.

2) Where Was the National Debt Clock:
Durst erected the first National Debt Clock in 1989 on Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street on February 20 1989. With its location between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal there would be tons of eyes on that clock every day. Because of its location near a business and tourism hub it would also be viewed by all comers.

3) National Debt 1989:
The national debt in 1989 when the first National Debt Clock was turned on was near $3 trillion.

4) Debt Goes Down:
As the laws of physics clearly state; what goes up must come down. In 2000 with much of the prosperity of the 1990’s behind us the National Debt Clock was turned off. The national debt was actually going down and the original concept for this clock didn’t take that fact into account. But then in 2002 the laws of debt were reintroduced and the clock was switched back on in July.

5) National Debt 2011:
First hand look at the National Debt Clock this morning (Monday, September 26 2011) shows the US national debt to the tune of $14 trillion dollars. Fourteen trillion. That may just sound like a number, but it looks like this $14,612,507,079,024. That’s a lot of pesos. Taking your own slice of the pie that would mean that you and your family would owe $123,822.

A hundred twenty three thousand bucks for every family in the United States. That would be just to pay back what the government has already borrowed. It’s just something to remember when we are thinking about who we are voting into office to write those checks with our borrowed future tax dollars. Source:

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