U.S. Debt Clock

U.S. Debt Clock July 13, 2011

Have you ever seen a U.S. debt clock before?  There are a few sites that have real time debt clocks that are pretty interesting to look at.  You’ll find that these clocks aren’t exactly the same because they’re based on figures from the US Treasury that change each month, requiring sites to adjust their algorithm, which can vary from site to site.

The most interesting debt clock that I’ve found is the one at US Debt Clock.  It’s by far, the most descriptive and breaks down the debt by largest budget items, total interest, and even the amount of debt per citizen, which is about $46,000! Here’s a snapshot of the site to show how much detail it really goes into about the debt.

Does This Bother You?

The Gross National Debt: //

The U.S. debt load has more than tripled in the last ten years.  At over $14 trillion, the debt load seems almost unmanageable.  To put one trillion in perspective, consider the following facts from topix.com:

  • If you wanted to count to one trillion and said a number each second, it would take you 32,000 years to get there.
  • One trillion dollars in $100 bills would stack 800 miles high.
  • If you started a business the day Jesus was born and you lost a million dollars each day, you would finally reach one TRILLION dollars in the red around October 2737.

Now…think about 14 Trillion.  That’s a lot of debt.

Is there a solution to the US debt?

I hate to talk about something without looking at ways to resolve it (even though the U.S. debt load seems pretty helpless).  There’s absolutely no [good] way to get out of this debt without addressing the spending problem in our country.  I say ‘good’ because the other option would be to tax people beyond reason.  I am not against paying my fair share in taxes – I just don’t think it’s a smart thing to increase taxes before we seriously address the issue of spending.

We already know that the problem lies in the way our government spends its money. The funny thing about the spending is that we’re so adamant about the fact that it needs to slow down, but no one wants to feel the negative effects of a cut.

Let’s be real – most of the spending is centered around entitlement programs. As soon as a politician hints at the idea of cutting a certain entitlement program, they can expect to NOT get any votes from those negatively affected by the cut. To me, that sounds like an incentive to spend money on those who have the power to hire/fire you every few years.

And the moral of the story is…

I don’t mean to sound so gloom and doom – I’ve tried to paint the debt picture in a clear and realistic way.  There’s nothing new about debt that can’t be summed up with this quote I found on Bible Money Matters – ‘“Debt is the slavery of the free” – Publilius Syrus, Roman author, 1st century B.C.

When we let our wants outweigh needs and let contentment fall to the wayside, we lead ourselves into a lifestyle that supports the idea that debt is good.  This view of debt couldn’t be further from the truth.

image: Nick J Webb

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