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Reply #17: US debt clock running out of time, space [View All]

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 08:00 AM
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17. US debt clock running out of time, space
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060328/ts_afp/afplifestyl... ;_ylt=Aks0j84fEY4yuBiVNEgAYrqmOrgF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

snip>

Sometime in the next two years, the total amount of US government borrowing is going to break through the 10-trillion-dollar mark and, lacking space for the extra digit such a figure would require, the clock is in danger of running itself into obsolescence.

The clock's owner, real estate developer Douglas Durst, knew such a problem could arise but hadn't counted on it so soon.

"We really expected it to be quite some time," Durst told AFP. "But now, with the pace of debt growth only increasing, we're looking at maybe two years and certainly before President (George W.) Bush leaves office in 2009."

snip>

Toward the close of the millennium, with a booming economy fuelling annual budget surpluses, the clock began to slow and finally ran into its first mechanical problem.

"It wasn't designed to run backwards," Douglas Durst explained.

snip>

He only had to wait two years as the Bush presidency coincided with an upsurge in borrowing. The curtain was raised in 2002 and the digital readout flickered back to life showing a national debt of 6.1 trillion dollars with the numerals whizzing round faster than ever.

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