national debt clock


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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 28, 2011 - 09:17pm PT
On 4 january 2011, the national debt clock hit the unbelievable, indigestible, unsustainable $14 TRILLION mark.

And here's a snapshot just today, 28 jan 2011, already approaching $14.1 trillion.

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That means $100 billion more in about three weeks. Extrapolating, I have figured it will hit $15 trillion on 2 nov 2011.

Trillions and trillions of dollars of debt. That will be a challenging ceiling indeed for Americans of the future to have to pull through. But then again, maybe Uncle Sam will print more money when things get really rough and tumble. Anyways, it will be fascinating to watch and of course as always time will tell.

I'll repost every couple of months to see if my "extrapolation" is tracking. And if it isn't, hopefully it won't be for the best.

Where there are climbers and hills, there is hope.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 28, 2011 - 09:22pm PT
It's all George Bush's fault.

We didn't even have a National Debt until Bush stole the election and squandered all of Bill Clinton's Surplus.

And now, Obama has to make the tough decisions, and run the debt up way higher than Bush ever imagined, in order to make up for the mess Bush made.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2011 - 09:28pm PT
Since so many climbers here are sociopolitically conscious, I was surprised to discover there wasn't a national debt clock thread already in the archives - or even just a national debt thread - I mean, given its importance in our lives present and future.


Chaz, yeah the good ol days of Bill Clinton. I miss em.

Somewhere out there
Jan 28, 2011 - 09:29pm PT
more like repubkican's fault ^^^

because climbers have nothing to do with the dept of this nation.... We are the outsiders of the outsiders.... mostly outside....

plus, we don't control the debt.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2011 - 12:05am PT
It's only been two weeks since the last post, already at 14.14... so it is ahead of my estimation for "hitting" 15 trillion in august.



Chaz, as you know, there's a difference between "national debt" and "national deficit." When Clinton left office the U.S. had a national debt. It was about 5.7 trillion. 8 years earlier it was 4.1 trillion. But he did leave office under a budget surplus.
Captain...or Skully

The Seas of Stone.
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:07am PT
Dude, we're gonna die.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2011 - 12:15am PT
I hear ya, Cap'n.

Add to the national debt clock page another "favorite" internet barometer of the times:

... and it's hard sometimes to be optimistic...

Then again, I have discovered over the years that thinking ecologically... i.e., thinking and living in ecological terms... helps.

The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Feb 13, 2011 - 02:41am PT
Debt is an unavoidable function of having a Federal Reserve or Central Bank.
Our governments caved in to central banks not long after Andrew Jackson's term and agreed to the monetary mechanics that ensure that every dollar printed carries debt.
Most of what we call money doesn't actually exist except in binary code and on balance sheets. Banks only require a tenth of the amount of money they circulate in loans in actual reserve. Ironically, every one of the imaginary dollars that are "promised" in exchange for Federal Bonds carry the burden of real compounding debt.
Quantitative easing? Put more imaginary dollars into circulation for real debt. America is bankrupt and Canada is tagging right along behind.
If you think this last round of economic hardship was tough, forget about it, things are just starting to get interesting.
Don't blame Bush, Clinton, Trudeau or Mulroney, hell we all voted for them.
Pay closer attention to JP Morgan and Canada's Municipal Finance Authority if you care to know what's really going on.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 13, 2011 - 02:58am PT
We long had a debt clock in downtown Vancouver, in a prominent location. As 'conservative' federal governments ran up big deficits and debts, it got more and more alarming. Finally we had a liberal (and Liberal) government, which from 1993 - 1997 balanced the budget, and from then on ran surpluses, so actually paying down the debt a bit. They then dismantled the clock - although those who put it up were probably somewhat embarrassed.

That is, until the conservatives (their brand name regularly changes) got back into power in 2006, and rediscovered the value of Keynesian policies in late 2008. Although Canada had had more conservative financial regulation and policy right from the start, which helped. Mostly due to Liberal governments.
John Moosie

Beautiful California
Feb 13, 2011 - 03:20am PT
Thanks Chief and Mighty Hiker.

Why is it that Canadians seem to understand the problem better then Americans. I wish folks would understand the subtleties that you make, such as the fact that todays conservative isn't really conservative. Obama inherited a mess.

EDit: Fair enough HFCS. I will remove the insults. Maybe I have you confused with someone else. I do find it interesting that the conservatives are only just now getting to be concerned with deficits. Wasn't Cheney the one who said deficits don't matter? Not sure if that is exactly his quote.

America will have to pay more taxes. Plus, If she wants to compete globally, then she will have to scale back her military, because cutting funding for education will hurt us globally.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2011 - 10:16am PT
Yeah, that fractional reserve and fiat currency are quite the phenomena of our times. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around them esp in regard to their role in all this. Some say it has all evolved now into a giant pyramid or ponzi scheme that is near the end.

For sure, it won't be boring to see how it all plays out.

Feb 13, 2011 - 10:19am PT
Clinton balanced the budget.

Seems like with a few exceptions as an American your choice is to vote for a Tax and Spend lib Democrat, or a borrow and spend conservative Republican. Obama represents a new breed: a Borrow and spend Democrat, but at some point, your taxes will go up to pay for all this overseas military empire building and big government.

Smaller government is the answer.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Feb 13, 2011 - 11:24am PT
You're right.

What do the tax-and-spend guys have in common with the borrow-and-spend guys?

A: Spending.

There's your problem, right there.

Trad climber
Ford Pickup Truck, North America
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:06pm PT
why should i care?

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:37pm PT
"When the Government cuts national spending, those cuts are the jobs that keep this economy running"

If that were true, there should be more jobs now than ever before, seeing as Government spending has never been higher.

Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 13, 2011 - 01:20pm PT
FatTrad has a lively imagination, to put it politely. Canada's current wannabe neo-con 'conservative' government, with prime minister Harper, has been in a minority for five years. They would love to have a majority, as it would give them free rein to implement some of their extremist nonsense. (Vandalizing our national census. Tougher sentences and more prisons, in a time of steadily falling crime rates. The usual idiotological foolishness.) The public and the polls are having nothing of it. So every six months or year one party or other starts to talk big about forcing an election - except that it wouldn't resolve anything. No news there at all. The last election was in autumn 2008, the maximum term is five years, typically minority governments last 2 - 3 years, we'll probably have an election sometime in 2011, Harper will continue to have a minority government, and the disunited opposition will continue to be less effective than it could be.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Feb 13, 2011 - 02:46pm PT
The bum on the corner...

"Can you give me $40,000.00, so I can pay off my part of the national debt!"

Ice climber
Feb 13, 2011 - 05:48pm PT
I hear a lot of republicans and Tea Party people saying

1. Reduce government spending
2. Reduce tax rates
3. Reduce government regulation

This is Reaganomics or "Voodoo Economics"

Voodoo economics is a derogatory term used to describe the economic process known as supply-side economics.

Unfortunately, in practice, the theory had mixed results.

Growth is not result of tax cuts but rather a natural recovery from the tremendous recession of the previous decade.

The unintended consequence of voodoo economics was a large increase in the national debt, and the loss of what many consider to be vital social programs as government-funded programs had to be cut in response to the tax cuts.

from where the anecdotes roam
Feb 13, 2011 - 07:22pm PT
If the dollar loses its status as fiat, then you'll be screwed. It carries the dollar beyond its face value. That was one of the big reasons behind the Iraq war. Saddam Hussein declared he'd go over to selling in Euros instead, it being more stable than the dollar, and the other Arab nations discussed it too. It was about oil of course, but not oil as in having it delivered.

important issues lolli. and for clarification, fiat currency is one which has value because the country issuing it declares it to be so, as opposed to one which is backed by gold, which enjoys a valued status by consensus. the risk you are speaking of , i think, is that of losing our status as reserve currency, which is what central banks around the world chose to hold in greater proportion than others as a hedge against volatility.

to date, during times of uncertainty or "flight to safety" the dollar has typically strengthened along with gold as an alternative currency, lacking a better port in a storm.

recently the financial media has chosen to focus on sovereign debt issues in europe, taking some heat off the US dollar and it's problems though it is also richly deserving of concern. when a commodity such as oil is denominated in US dollars, it rides the same roller coaster and so indeed the idea of an alternative bourse denominated in euros has been floated, most vociferously by iran and others who don't have our best interest at heart.

there is tremendous advantage to be gained by repaying our debt in deflated dollars, and while talking up a strong dollar, the fed has been making moves which would undermine it's value by way of these rounds of quantitative easing, and indeed many of the countries that would like to boost their export economy by selling cheap goods abroad can also be seen as making efforts to exert downward pressure on the value of their respective currencies.

china has been getting attention lately by our representative cranks in congress and administrative torch bearers for not letting the range that the yuan trades in appreciate relative the US dollar at a fast enough rate. ironically they are motivated to see our currency maintain its strength because they hold so much of our debt. the appreciation of the yuan has been responsible for the majority of the closing of the gap so far, in other words the strategy of paying back in cheaper dollars has been thwarted, possibly by good chinese gamesmanship.

the big shoe will fall when our debt is no longer an attractive prospect.

meanwhile watch for incremental progress on the part of chinese finance ministers in preparing the yuan for future status as a replacement reserve currency. it's a long ways off, but steps such as loosening policy to allow yuan convertability and true free floating exchange rates in the market are steps in that direction.

meanwhile, MAJOR buys in the gold and silver markets on the part of the chinese are thought by some to put a floor under those prices, and set up the chinese nicely for a future play to place the yuan (renmembi) in the cat bird seat as a reserve currency backed by real gold and silver, as opposed to our fiat currency backed mostly by faith

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2011 - 07:51pm PT
re: quantitative easing

Step 1: The central bank credits its own bank account with money it creates electronically.
Step 2: The central bank buys government bonds (including long-term government bonds) or other financial assets, from commercial banks or other financial institutions, with the newly created money.




Tfpu. You sound informed on these issues, what do you do? just curious.

Gedankenexperiment QT So if we all woke up tomorrow to learn the Central Bank created $10T "electronically," bought government bonds, and then learned the U.S. Government paid off all foreign debt, etc. and then some - what would be the WORST fallout from that? Would it be so bad? I mean, I'm sure it would shock the system some, the value of the dollar would drop, perhaps even quite a bit, but wouldn't that in the end put the country on more solid ground - at least recognizably so - than where it is at now - in this seeming morass of uncertainty? Just wondering your thoughts...
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