Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spending so fast we can even bust the national debt clock ahead of schedule.

This week the national debt clock in New York exceeded the number of digits it was designed for (picture.) There is now a '1' reading in the place reserved for the dollar sign while someone has glued a handmade dollar sign next to the 1.

The sign is maintained by a private foundation and was originally put in place almost two decades ago when the national debt was around two trillion dollars. It is due to be replaced in 2009 with a new sign, presumably one in which the ten trillions place will be represented by a digit. During the late 1990's when the nation regularly ran a budget surplus, the clock was even turned off for a couple of years (I guess it's not programed to run backwards.)

When President Bush was inaugurated in 2001, the national debt was $5.8 trillion. So in his seven plus years he has nearly doubled it.

That's the price of 'fuzzy math' (as he accused Al Gore of.) He thinks he is being a 'fiscal conservative' because he can cut a million or two here and there for the national parks, but has had no problem with tossing around trillions like they were play money (a trillion in tax cuts, a trillion for Iraq and another trillion in corporate welfare for the pharmaceutical industry courtesy of the prescription drug 'benefit' that Bush and Congressional Republicans passed in 2003.


shrimplate said...

I once heard Clinton respond to a question about what it was that made his administration different, and he said "We did the math."

Jack Hampton said...

Hah, hah. I love that response, Shrimplate.

Eli Blake said...

Well, remember when George Bush ran, and they made his being a 'C' student such an asset?

Well, now we are paying the price for that.

wunelle said...

I despise the New Right's disparaging of education and erudition as "elitism." They blame Harvard and Yale and Princeton for all the country's messes, as though the present state of things doesn't make every other era but the Depression seem halcyon.

The national debt gets far less play than it should, I think. W is an unfathomable disgrace on this point alone.