It was a day I hoped would never happen, but I sat down this weekend and updated my little US national debt clock to display over $10,000,000,000,000. I say it's a sad day because despite what some people say (that the further in debt our country is the more prosperous we are) I find it hard to believe we're better off because of the debt we've just taken on. The whole concept of "money as debt" just seems corrupt. Then again, I'm not an expert on economics. Maybe having our national debt increasing at the rate of $36 per millisecond is a good thing.
The debt clock started when a friend e-mailed me a years ago and asked how to do a counter like a clock that starts at a specific point. He needed it in Flash so I whipped one together and sent it to him and then realized I could maybe do something worthwhile by putting it out there for people to use. I did.. and it hit myspace and facebook.. and I'm currently seeing about 65,000 views of it each month. I encouraged people to download it and install it on their own servers (it's not sucking too much bandwidth, but they shouldn't have to wait on my server for their page to finish loading..) so I'm not sure how many views it's getting that way.. I know it's being used on quite a few political web sites (both Republicans and Democrats running for Congress for example), in articles, and on some personal web sites.
I don't fuss with the accuracy of it since I figure if they can pull a number like $700,000,000,000 out of thin air just because it's "a really large number" then there's no point in trying to be too accurate on anything based on numbers provided by the same folks. I like to think that over the last few years I've helped a tiny bit to raise awareness of our out of control spending.. I can hope it's not too late to sort things out and maybe someday I'll be able to reverse the clock.
Updated debt clock to show over $10,000,000,000,000 Sunday, October 05, 2008