Frequently Asked Questions on the National Debt and USA Debt Clock.com
- May I add a Debt Clock to my Website? Yes. Follow this link for our US Debt Clock widget.
- Are there records of what the debt was on a particular date? Yes. Follow this link for our US Debt History.
- Do you have an good quotations on the National Debt? Yes, here are some quotations on the National Debt. As you will note, the Founding Fathers were aware and warned against an excessive national debt.
- What can You do to help? (a) Share this website and others like it. (b) Vote for politicians who will not spend beyond their means. Read more here about the debt.
- Why is debt even a problem? See this page for why the US National debt is a problem.
- Can't we just tax the rich more and fix everything? At the end of 2010, the total worth of all American billionaires was $1.3 Trillion. That is not income, but all income and all property. Seizing all their income and all their property would not even close the gap for one year. And you can only do it once.
- What are "unfunded liabilities"? Suppose you have no assets (no house, savings etc.), and you promise to pay me $1000 per month for a year. Your "unfunded liability" is $12,000 (12 months times $1000). The Federal Government has made similar promises for Medicare, Social Security, Medicare Part D (the Prescription Drug Plan) while not setting aside any money for these programs. Eventually the bill will come due and the government will have to pay those promises by law - or change the law.
- How does the Federal Reserve fit in? Jacob Hornberger says that "While the ostensible purpose of the Federal Reserve is to 'stabilize' the money supply, its real purpose is to enable public officials to spend as much money as they want by borrowing it and then letting the Federal Reserve pay off its creditors with newly printed, debased, cheapened, devalued dollars." This means that the Federal Reserve will try to inflate the debt away. Which means that if you lend me one dollar today, when I pay you back in 5 years, the "value" of that one dollar might only be $0.75 in real terms. Smart people realize this and would not lend money to a country bent on inflating their debt away.
- How much is the interest? For 2010, the Federal Government spent nearly $414 Billion on interest ($413,954,825,362.17). NASA's budget was around $6 Billion. The Department of Education budget was aroun $56 Billion in 2010. The Department of Transporation's budget was around $73 Billion.
- Why have this website? The National Debt is a problem for all Americans, and for everyone in the world. As the "reserve currency" for the world, financial mismanagement through extreme spending will impact everything. We have the responsibility to the world and future generations to act responsibly.
- What about the "Social Security Trust Fund"? Doesn't it have a lot of money? The "Social Security Trust Fund" is invested in US Treasury bonds which means it has been spent. Think of it this way: you give me $1000 in my right hand and I promise to pay it back to you in 2 years when you retire. I put the $1000 in my left hand and put an IOU (the Treasury bond) in my right hand for $1000 and pay my rent with the $1000. Is there really a trust fund for that $1000? No, I'll have to pay you the money from what I earn. This is an accounting gimmick and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise has another agenda and is lying to you (or a dupe).
- 1987??? The Web wasn't around in 1987!!! True, some of the code for calculating the debt has been around since 1987 and we've been calculating the debt with various applications (on the Mac and others) since 1987 by giving away the "USDebtDA desk accessory" starting then. It was only natural to put the information on the web for free, eventually.
- Why does the National Debt or Debt Per Person vary every day, and sometimes go down, I thought it was increasing? Over weeks and months the trend has been continually up. Over the short term, the
U.S. Treasury makes payments so day to day, the debt or debt per person may actually go down. A good example is on October 31 and November 1, 2011 where the Treasury made payment of more than $20 Billion. Obviously that was spent again in a few days, but it temporarily lowered the National Debt.
10/31/2011 14,993,709,044,140.78 11/01/2011 14,971,831,021,178.32
• And finally, what is the most current information from the U.S. Treasury?
As of the end of the day on 01/13/2017 the United States National Debt stood at exactly $19,940,614,376,504.40You can see more about the US National Debt History here.
The National Debt is increasing this fiscal year at about $2,756,816,640.00 per day or $31,907.60 per second.