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Friday, August 21, 2009

Someone Want to Verify or Validate usdebtclock.org Please

********** PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING A RESPONSE **********

Dear Anonymous of 9/24/11 (and all future visitors),

Thanks for the visit, the link and your comments.

No tin foil hats here.

The original post was in 2009. At that time, the site was different. It was much thinner in content and there was no advertising. See older posts for details on the changes I've observed. My suspicion, then as now, could be called a "conspiracy theory", I suppose, if you as the reader want to read more into the post and the subsequent discussion than is really there.

Two years ago I was asking questions based upon what I saw as some suspicious observations I was making. To date, no one has really addressed those observations.

1. It seemed to me that the timing of when this site was brought to my attention by an ultraconservative friend was suspicious considering it was W's debt, not O's.

No one can dispute that fact.


2. To this day, no one has stepped forward to indicate ownership of the site beyond what I found by checking the web site name's registration. There is nothing of significance on http://www.usdebtclock.org/about.html to identify who started, owns, or operates this site.

No one can, as of today, dispute that fact.

3. Why did I never get a response from the comments@usdebtclock.org about any of these questions?

Unless someone wants to accuse me of lying, I did send that email 2 years ago and to this date I have never received a response.


So I ask you and all future visitors to please resist the temptation to jump to too many conclusions about me or anyone for that matter. Instead, I would ask that responses to the outstanding questions from the original post be the focus.

"Where was this site when W was running things into the ground at historic levels not seen since Reagen?"

"Did I just miss this site back then? Did no one think to send it to me back then? Why am I only getting it now?"


If anyone wants to address these issues, I'd very much like that. Thanks and have a nice day.

*********************************************************************


Ok, everyone has seen the usdebtclock.org link.

Well, you know me, the first thing I want to know is if this is verifiable?

The web site itself is very, very thin. It's the counting clocks page which some of us learned to program into 8086 microprocessors back in the day at PSU Lake Lehman, so I'm not impressed. They're freakin' counters, for chrissakes. I could probably still do the programming, and I haven't written a line of real code since 1984 in BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80.

There's no other web page except the About page. It has no information identifying who this dot-org is.

And, being the heathen that I am, I get immediately more suspicious any time I see the words "....and God Bless America!" preceded by "Thank you for your continued support..."What support? From whom? And for what nefarious purpose?

Where was this site when W was running things into the ground at historic levels not seen since Reagen? Did I just miss this site back then? Did no one think to send it to me back then? Why am I only getting it now?

Did someone wait until Obama came into this "inheritance" to try and make him look bad?

So, being the ever inquisitive liberal, I checked Snopes. Gasp! Nothing! Not to worry, I've sent them a note asking about it.

I then started searching all over the web trying to find out who this organization is and who owns the domain. Nothing. The domain is registered to a company called DomainsByProxy. (See http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/usdebtclock.org)

Hmmm.....wonder why someone would "hide" behind this sort of registration?

So I decided to ask using the only means offered on the web site; comments@usdebtclock.org. Again, no surprise that the only answer received so far is an auto response thanking me for my comments and for my support. What support?

You don't suppose that someone with an agenda might be making this site up just to try and create angst and anger, do you? You don't suppose it could be someone with a desire to try and make this mess look like it's the current administration's fault?

My email to them asked some really straight forward and simple questions. I'll let you know if I ever get a response.

If anyone knows anything more about this website, its origins and, most importantly, who is behind it I would like to know.

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow - try a search for: http://digg.com/search?s=usdebtclock.org

You will find 10 usdebtclock.org pages submitted - some with over 100 diggs. And, most of the dugg pages go to pages that are not linked to from usdebclock.org. How do people find these pages, anyway?

Greg said...

My own opinion is that it just speaks to the gullibility of people, especially when whatever it is they see reinforces a belief. It takes time and energy to think and ask questions, and I'm always looking for the source of stuff like this. It should make anyone suspicious when there is none offered.

Anonymous said...

Go back to USdebtclock.org again

go to the small tab titled sources and mouse over it
then if you have the monitor size big enough, mouse over all of their statistics

Go on the Internet and see if those sources are reliable...

Greg said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I do understand that it's easy to tag each field with a pop-up that says the source is U.S. Treasury, etc., but I was referring more to the numbers themselves and their incremental counts. If you can offer links to those sources I would appreciate that a great deal. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I think instead of asking if these numbers could be validated, why don't you try and find the numbers your self. Once you have found an updated version of the numbers, compare them to the usdebtclock.org. This might show one way or the other.

Greg said...

Thanks for the dialog, Anonymous, but I see the responsibility of providing valid resources and references to rest squarely with the publisher and not the reader. That's why I asked the question about verification and validation. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, Your missing the whole point! You say you so could have "programed a clock like this". Yea right. Where were you in the Bush years with your clock? Liberals, Your solutions never work. Read history and wise up!

Greg said...

Dear Anonymous,
Programming simple counters like this was something I learned to do back in 1981 so, yes, I could.

President Bush inherited a surplus which was promptly squandered with give-backs mostly to the wealthiest Americans and, even worse, wasted on an immoral and pointless invasion of Iraq.

If you're interested in history, I'd suggest reviewing the causes of the Great Depression. The regulations of the financial services sector enacted in the Glass-Steagall Act (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/g/glass_steagall_act_1933/index.html) that kept Wall Street under some sort of constraints was repealed by Republicans in 1999 in the interest of so-called free markets by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (http://banking.senate.gov/conf/somfinal.htm).

The counter - and more to the point, the terrible state of our economy - is hardly the result of "liberal" policies or elected representatives that you might want to lump under that label.

Michelle M, Long Beach, Ca said...

You are both missing the point. It doesn't say "Obama's fault" or "Bush's Fault" anywhere on the counter. While you argue over which bloated political party spent us into debt, the counter keep spinning into oblivion.

Check the statistics.. if they are correct...Then praise the guy for putting together such a fantastic website.

Greg said...

Thanks for posting, Michelle M. I'm not denying that the federal debt is a problem and that there's plenty of blame to go around. What I can't and won't do is give anyone credit for an elementary counter on a web site with no substantive references or citations. IMHO, such sites have no credibility.

Mosheh Thezion said...

I think the real question is, why does the software need to install an adobe application to my computer to show me the numbers.??
I am not concerned whether the numbers are right or accurate, but instead the fact that the site demands to install an un-verfiable adobe product application to run at all, is what you all show be concerned with.
Who knows... could just be a simple way to track the people in the population who care about debt.. and could be trouble makers.

But maybe I'm just being parnoid.

Hopefully.

Either way, we need a way to pay off the debt, and as an exploratory candidate for the Presidency, I just so happen to offer that solution in my platform.

http://mosheh.org/Home.html

-MT

Zaara said...

Hey Greg U r right . Lemme tell you one thing. If it is correct it should not give two values at same time. Try to open it in one window and after 1 minute open the website in another window. Just match the values , totally different.

Greg said...

Thanks, Zaara!

mediaQ said...

I'm sort of late to the DebtClock discussion but the entire thing is Flash with no text for any search engine to link and check. Every single source is an incomplete source and done as an image so it can't be checked:

http://usdebtclock.org/sources/

All the pretty flashing numbers on the front page are what are called pre-built swfs:

http://usdebtclock.org/numbers2/

The bottom of the page says:

US Debt Clock.org is not Associated with any Government Agency, or Funded by or Affiliated with any Politically active Party, Organization or Lobbying Group.

It does not say who it is associated with; you have to ask why not? Code, which is what this is, is always political and has a goal.

Greg said...

Thanks, mediaQ. It's never too late to focus attention on reality. Thanks for making the time to explain the Flash functions as I'm not that technical.

Anonymous said...

Greg, The numbers are more or less accurate. As a reasonable person which I imagine you to be, you can understand that these numbers are estimated amounts much the same as a population clock is an estimation given certain data and trends. It is good for giving a good idea of what the debt is at any given point.

If you pay attention to the economy you know well that the US Debt is growing at an alarming rate and the more "the people" know about this the better. We are already past the point of no return.

From a political POV both Democans and Republicrats are all the same. They support fractional reserve banking. Which is the core of our issue in the economy. This steals from the poor and gives to the rich. If you believe so called liberal politicians are any different than so called conservative politicians.....you are in for a rude awakening.

Regarding the Clinton Surplus. It is true there was a surplus but it was because of massive tax raises which far out paces spending increases. Bush was a fool and so is Obama and most of the POTUS over the last century. Allowing the federal reserve system to suck our country dry and removing us from the gold standard and continued deficit spending (putting us in debt). The real cause of the Great Depression was the FED when they contracted the money supply (I am over simplifying it a bit but that is basically it)

Any way, I just randomly came across your post and thought I would chime in.

Cheers!

Greg said...

Thanks for visiting and for offering your thoughts, Anonymous of 9/6/2010.

With respect, I think you're missing the point, though, about this post. Simply putting numbers on a website with no references and no citations has no merit. (See mediaQ's posting of August 25 for a description of what the site is technically.)

Anyone can claim that they are more or less accurate, but where's the proof? And the point is credibility and reliability. Just because someone puts something on a web site doesn't make it right.

Yes, the debt is out of control but I don't think there should be any mistaking why - it is thanks to the previous administration's horrendously failed policies. We agree that there isn't much to like or admire about politicians - especially when there's very little to actually distinguish one from another - but let's not kid ourselves. Bush and a GOP controlled Congress for most of the 2000-2008 timeframe killed our economy.

Tax cuts are the dumbest thing in the world when the economy is slowing and you have 100s of thousands of troops invading and occupying 2 countries. It's not too bright to cut revenues (taxes) while expenses (military spending) is going through the roof.

The only thing dumber would be to extend those tax breaks for the 1.93% of households making more than $250,000 a year.

Are you making the case that the surplus was created by massive tax increases by Clinton? That's really a fair bit of hyperbole on your part and simply not true. I refer you to http://didyoucheckfirst.blogspot.com/2010/07/next-big-battle-in-washington-bushs-tax.html and http://didyoucheckfirst.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-and-with-whom-is-tea-party-so.html.

IMHO, anyone who thinks any administration could reverse 8 years of disaster in 2 isn't living in the real world.

And while I readily admit that my research and interest in history is very much only a hobby, I would challenge your contention about what caused the Great Depression. It was anything but the federal government.

Thanks again for visiting and taking so much time to share your thoughts. Visit anytime!

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have been reading your comments and I have been checking the debt clock for many years and screaming and crying inside during the 8 Bush years because after the mess of Reagon's deficits, this nation was back on track and in a surplus....then I saw W deatroy it...I checked the debt clock 2 years ago at this time and it was 9.5 trillion...yesssss 9.5 trillion then....Americans are oblivious to what happened during the "Cowboy with the credit card" era....How could W know anything other than spending with reckless abandon? He was an entitled spoiled partier who never had to earn a real living or balance a budget...and failed at every job he had except being bolstered up on his Daddy's name and the religious right wingers...By the way, he really never had the popular vote in 2000...the supreme court (R dominated)made the decision. Very sad for all of us...It is my contention that a tart by the name of Monica Lewinsky changed the course of history.....Osama Bin Laden has done less damage financially than the 12 years straight of Senate/House Republican majority with 6 years of Bush at the helm during that time. Geeez....how sad it is that people seem to really have amnesia...or is it just an inconvenient truth? So sad for all of us and our future.

Greg said...

Well said, Anonymous of 11/6/10. Thanks for sharing.

wayne said...

Greg,

I have to agree with you. I distrust anyone who hides behind a mask. If you won't identify yourself, I won't talk to you and I won't listen to you. But I will watch you VERY carefully.

W. R. Knight
McLean, VA

Greg said...

Well said, Wayne. Thanks for sharing.

Butch said...

Perhaps instead of arguing about this clock you should look at what our own gevernment is saying about the numbers from the Treasury Dept, IRS, and GAo.

It doesn't matter whose fault is it at this point rather who will step forward and get us back in the black. Cut the political attacks and work on fixing the problem or learn Chinese.

Greg said...

Thanks for your visit and your thoughts, Butch. I 'll respectfully disagree, though, with what I think you're saying.

IMHO, it is vitally important to understand how we got here, and whether or not the information presented to us is real and accurate.

I think it's important to know "who" got us here because according to my research (for what it's worth and which you can find throughout this blog site), it's much more the fault of the GOP - going back to Reagan - than it ever was the Democrats.

Why is important to know where to place blame? To your point, I agree that it's important to know "who" is at fault because we as citizens decide on who will lead us and try to fix the problems. The fault is clearly with the real villains who got us here - the GOP. I'll never be able to understand why anyone but the richest 2% in this country would ever vote for a Republican. It's not in anyone else's economic interest to vote GOP unless you're making $250K or more.

And when it comes to the source and accuracy of facts and the truth, there are not 2 sides. As Patrick Moynahan once said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts." When I see things like this debt clock, I want to know who it is that publishes it and from whence the data comes. IMHO, everyone should want to know these things; otherwise, we're not informed citizens, we're too easily duped, and it ends up resulting in elections of people who not only created our problems but know we're easily fooled into believing the same failed policies are what we need to fix the problem. Just makes no sense to me.

Again, thanks for the visit.

Ray said...

Let me open by saying I'm not as smart as you people are so please, there is no reason to attack me for what could be construed as ignorance. That being said, why can't we just stop all entitlements to people who CAN work. We all know who they are. I even have them in my own family and friends circle. We should take care of our own if we can. Charitable institutions can pick up the rest. The federal gov. should protect our borders and keep people as honest as possible. A difficult task I know. Straight 15-25% tax on all. I dont care how much one makes. It is not my job, nor yours, to pay for anyone's prosperity. As far as the clock goes, it doesn't appear to be to far off, considering the state of the union. It seems pretty basic.

Greg said...

Thank, Ray, for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Just as a friendly reminder to all, the point of the original post is that there is no credible links or citations. It is our willingness to accept any claim that happens to align with our beliefs or desires that concerns me. Let those who are responsible for this clock openly identify themselves and the source of the date for without that, there is no reason to give them or their counters one ounce of credibility.

Rick said...

Here's your answer...

The Durst Organization Inc. One Bryant Park, New York, NY 10036 p.212.257.6600 | info@durst.org

A special huge electronic display in New York which shows in real time the size of state debt will not be able to cope with such a high figure. In 1989 the national debt clock was placed in Times Square so that Americans could see how effectively their government was working. At the time the national debt stood at 2.7 trillion dollars.


Developer Douglas Durst owns the clock and his father erected it. He hoped to make Americans understand the economy better. The clock worked fine for ten years but in the run up to the new millennium it crashed. In its final moments the clock read that the national debt was $5.7 trillion and that the family share of the debt was $74 000. Durst believed that such a level of debt would not last long and he was right. Within two years the debt had started to grow at an unprecedented rate.

Durst pulled the plug on the clock in 2000, but it was switched back on in 2002 when debt started to once again increase. In 2004 a new model replaced the original clock which was able to express the figure in a shortened term in the event that in the future the debt suddenly started to rise at an unthinkable rate. Now the figure on the clock goes up by $20 000 every second.

Took me about 30 seconds of searching to find the answer...

Rick said...

Better Detail...

The national debt clock began in 1989 by a New York real estate developer named Seymour Durst. The clock is a large sized display, approximately the same size as a billboard that is affixed on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. The clock is a seven segment indicator or seven segment display that is used to show decimal numbers. It is similar to the reading of numbers on a digital clock. Not only does the national debt clock show how much debt the nation is incurring, but lets Americans realize how much their family contributes to it.

The original debt clock’s founder, Seymour Durst, passed away in 1995. After his passing, his son, Douglas Durst, became president of the Durst Organization. The Durst Organization owns and maintains the clock to this day. The clock has undergone several upgrades over the years. The first clock was established, but when the national debt began improving, approximately 11 years after it was erected, the clock began operating backwards. Feeling that this was not drawing attention to the rising problem of debt, but rather giving messages that the economy was stable, the clock was unplugged and covered for several years. In July of 2002, the clock was uncovered and once again revealed. The debt, beginning at 6.1 trillion dollars, continued to rise.

By 2004, the clock was replaced with another model; only this one was installed at the Durst Building, where it resides today. When debt rose to a staggering $10 trillion dollars on September 30, 2008, the new clock ran out of digits. There are plans underway to update the national debt clock with two additional digits to ensure that it can handle the rising debt. To view the U.S. debt clock, without traveling to Manhattan, just click the link in the source box.

Greg said...

Thanks for the info, Rick, but it looks like what you're offering is relevant to the Times Square clock (which I wonder about, too, as a legitimate source, but that's a question for another post). My original post and the question I still have is about the origins, owner, and veracity of data used for the online usdebtclock.org. If you have links or information about that, I would appreciate seeing them. Thanks again.

judygcash said...

Here's a Debt Clock for you:

http://www.concordcoalition.org/federal-budget/national-debt/national-debt

Not as fancy, but I imagine you've heard of the Concord Coalition? Been after the runup in debt for quite some time now..

Greg said...

Thanks, Judy, for the visit, link and the information.

Rick said...

Greg, I don't know who you are BUT I do respect you... I didn't read every post on here but I saw you kept to your original point when you were baited. For that you have my respect... I assume you are liberal and I am conservitive (actually more libertarian)... I was once a highly political, Republican zealot about 20 tears ago... I know know that's a waste of time... some things never change... rich, poor, powerful, weak... kind of like in nature... it's not "fair" but it is what it is... your question of "who" is not as important as "what" is being discussed... If you can debunk the "US Debt" part you have a story... Doesn't matter if God, the devil, the Repubs, Dems, consers or libs are behind the "US Debt Clock"... It's the 14T+ that we owe and the fact it is at almost at 100% of out GDP! Bush AND Obama, Repubs AND Dems ARE AT FAULT! (As well as you and me) ;)

Rick said...

Greg, when I posted the earlier comment about the Durst Corp. owning the Times Square Clock, that was to imply that they are probably the people behind the website. Paying for a proxy to hide who owns the website doesn’t mean anything. I do the same with one of my websites, it’s only about $6 a year and I promise I don’t do it “nefarious” reasons.
Just have someone stand in Times Square with a laptop, pull up the website and see if the Times Square clock and the website clock don’t closely match. When it does, it will prove that the Durst Corp. is behind it or “someone” is pulling from their numbers…
Note what the Total US Debt at the time is then go here to compare: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np
(US Treasury Figures, updated every day)
If they’re close… there is no “conspiracy” …
Remember… Don’t play into other’s hands… Sometimes “they” want you and me to argue about “who’s” fault it is when they’re wanting trying to misdirect what hand you’re looking at… (just like a magician… there is no “magic”)

Greg said...

Thanks again, Rick, and thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Greg, I was sent this site and like you, I had to know more re veracity and who/what is behind it.I find your comments to be insightful and balanced given all the noise around the issue. Keep it up. The very good friend that sent it to me has a very serious bias (conservative/Republican) and thus is in that blame mode you discussed previously. clearly that is not the issue you have been trying to put forth. Well done. Also PSU here and originally from the valley. And a skeptic as well. Mike

Greg said...

Thanks for the kind words, Mike. Please pass along my thanks to your friend for referring you to my blog, feel free to refer it to others, and please come on back anytime. Go PSU! ;)

Anonymous said...

Interesting that these posts tend to ubiquitously blame "W". You must have no clue as to the relaxed housing lending that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started in the early Clinton Administration under democratic leadership. Bush actually tried to clamp down to prevent mortgages for those who couldn't afford them in 2003. But Barney Franks and the Liberals cried foul. So two recessions later and your stilling blaming Bush. btw: It was the taxes on Internet investment booms that gave Clinton his budget. No magic there. Ignorance is not bliss.

Greg said...

Anonymous of March 27, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm not sure you have all the facts, especially when you say that Bush wanted to "clamp down" on mortgages. You may want to review this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8

Thanks again for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

Brent said...

thats good and all, except for the fact that the website is pretty accurate... considering for today debtclock had the bdebt at $14.275 Trillion and http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np had it at $14,243,931,564,216.57. Not bad for a program. So please, next time why don't YOU check first.

Greg said...

Thanks, Brent, for the visit and your comments (although I seem to detect a bit of hostility). I'm familiar with the link you provided - thanks for that, btw - but I'm still curious about who owns and runs the "usdebtclock.org" site. That was the purpose of my post originally. I just want to know who is behind usdebtclock.org. If you have any information about that, I would appreciate seeing it.

Brent said...

sorry I came across that way... my bad. As far as who owns that site I do not know, but as far as references go, I would just stick with the website from the feds... .gov is usually the way to go.

John said...

http://www.usdebtclock.org

$14.28 trillion (US National Debt)

http://www.treasurydirect.gov

14.26 trillion (As of 4/6/11)

I don't doubt the debt figures. A year ago I heard it was roughly $13 trillion. More importantly, look at the Social Security and Medicare liabilities. There is currently a $114 trillion unfunded liability for SS, Medicaid and Medicare. That is a whole 'nother problem that needs to be dealt with.

Instead of bickering over the authenticity of the exact dollar amount, why not focus the discussion on how to truly fix the problem?

I don't know which way I lie, R or D, I think I am more of a Libertarian but politics in general absolutely disgusts me because of the path I see us following and how difficult it is for bipartisan politics to get anything done.

John said...

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/pd_debtposactrpt_1103.pdf

More readily available information. Shows debt levels in bar-chart form going back to 1990. From 1992-2000, Public debt rose from $4billion to roughly $6billion. 2000-2008 saw those levels rise from $6 to 12billion and today we sit at $14+.

I don't know exactly who is to blame. Defense spending covers approximately 5% of the current budget, so that is part of it, but like my previous post, SS/Medicare/Medicaid is an enourmous sunk-cost.

When SS was invented, the life expectancy was probably only expecting you to collect SS for 5-8 years, more of an insurance policy. Now you have people collecting for 20+ years and it is running the system dry.

We have so many problems, I just want a government that does something about them. Getting re-elected means not taking a tough stance on these issues. Maybe I am selfish or Darwinistic, but I believe most wellfare programs need to be scaled back immensely if not abolished alltogether. Trim the fat of this country and lets get back on top.

Anonymous said...

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/pd_debtposactrpt_1103.pdf

Greg said...

Thanks, John and Anonymous, for the visit, links and commentary. Great stuff.

Let me start out just noting that the purpose of my original post was to ask who was behind it the debtclock.org site.

I don't deny, dismiss, or doubt that the counters are in close alignment with fed data. The debtclock.org site has also evolved since the original posting here.

They also have more than a few new tabs dedicated to things like mortgages and precious metals, along with lots and lots of Google ads.

All I'm really curious about is who is behind this site and why do they hide their identity? I asked that question originally because the site seemed to come on the scene after Obama was elected and inherited the mess that, in my humble opinion, is clearly the result of Bush/Greenspan failed fiscal and economic policies. My post is not a question or doubt about the need to do something about what is an even worse runaway snowball careening out of control and getting bigger.

One point of clarification and correction about Defense.

DoD's budget request for 2012 is $670.9Billion (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2012/FY2012_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf).

Depending on where the 2012 budget lands, DoD will be 18% or 19% of the total, not 5%. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget)

I'd be very, very eager to see the sources that corroborate the claims about Social Security, Medicare, nd Medicaid. I did a Google Search on the string, "$114 trillion unfunded liability for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare" and it returned no results in the News category.

"Your search - $114 trillion unfunded liability for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare - did not match any documents."

There's some interesting facts and reading on FactCheck.org on Social Security (http://factcheck.org/2011/02/democrats-deny-social-securitys-red-ink/) and discretionary spending (http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/stockmans-fiery-rhetoric/)

Thanks again for the visit and dialog!

not fighting just saying said...

I'm sorry but I stopped reading the comments after our became Greg's page and he began thanking everyone for visiting. You're welcome. My input is that greg you got on here initially making sarcastic and snide comments about the page and how out magically appeared only when Obama sat in office. I have to say that 1 Bush racked up a debt a fraction of what the TRUE debt is so whether the clock the was there or not, remeber that. And 2 like most democraats I have encountered and conversed with you "worry" seemed to change throughout the posts, now its just the owner of the page? Find something truely important to to worry about and stick with your story. And you're welcome for visiting your page.

Ps the clock is accurate, thank your president for making it as large as it is. Oh and he still funds the war on iraq fyi.

Greg said...

Dear not fighting just saying,
You're certatinly entitled to your opinions, and I appreciate you stopping by to share them. You do seem to be saying you know my intent better than I do. Just to make it clear for everyone, when I posted this I was curious about the owner and origin of the site. I still am. I make it no secret throughout this blog that I have no respect for W. Whether or not the numbers are correct really isn't the issue. It's really not even a question of whose fault the debt is, although it clearly is W's since he inehrited a budget surplus and bequeathed TARP and debt so massive no one could turn it around easily or quickly.

So the question remains:
"If anyone knows anything more about this website, its origins and, most importantly, who is behind it I would like to know."

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Do we really need to validate this? Please... we all realize the numbers are close enough to the real ones and that we are basically heading for economic doomesday. I challange anyone who reads this to go and do some serious reading on history that is not tainted by the government. I would suggest reading the great works of Richard J. Maybury and get a serious understanding of Economics 101 and Law. Then you can seriously understand what is going on here. The FIAT currency that we use today is devalued 95% from what it was when we turned over the reigns to the Federal Reserve. The path we are on will simply lead to a worthless currency and a change bigger than all of us are even considering. The great thing is if we simply study history (real history) we have excellent models for this whole process we are in and we can foresee the final result. The only question is will you be ready? Most people will be totally blindsided by this and historically that has always been the case when Empire's crumble. If only one of you reads this post and gets it then I will be happy for taking the time. I am a conservative right leaning guy and I understand the liberal perspective, I just realized they simply don't know what they don't know. Read! Verify! Prepare! Anything else is a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention... President's don't spend any money!!!! Congress does it 100% with president rubberstamping it. Clinton had zero to do with the Surplus, it was the Republican Congress that passed a budget that spent less than it took in. The Debt was still $5.7T when "W" tookover. The first 4 years it only rose actually $1T. Once the Liberals took congress back the debt rose from $6.7T to $13.5T. These numbers are direct from the treasury site... http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

-Lets be real if we are going to discuss who spent the money!

Greg said...

Really, Anonymous? You're going to blame the Dems for the GOP's disastrous leadership and policies and now want credit for the prosperity of the Clinton years? Classic neo-con GOP tactic. With all due respect, you need to do more homework.

Fiat currency? That's our problem? Seriously? Sounds like someone's been watching a little too much Glenn Beck.

I'm running out of hope that anyone will ever answer the question I posted originally:

"If anyone knows anything more about this website, its origins and, most importantly, who is behind it I would like to know."

Anonymous said...

To answer the original question, move your mouse over each individual calculated number and it will tell you were the numbers originate. I don't wonder about your question, but I wonder about your research or lack thereof. In addition, the debt clock was started back when the debt was $3,000,000,000,000.00, or 3 trillion dollars for those of you that don't know how to read large numbers. Besides, its Harry and Nancy that made both Bush and Obama look like idiots when neither one of them needs any help.

Anonymous said...

To answer the original question the numbers come from the associated government agency. Try moving your mouse over each individual calculating number and it will tell you where the numbers originate. I don't wonder about your question, but I wonder about your research or lack thereof. In addition, the debt clock was started back when the debt was 3 trillion dollars for those of you that don't know how to read large numbers. For additional information go to wiki...

Anonymous said...

There was a surplus when Clinton left office because of Bush 41. Bush 41 gave the democrats their tax hike (which hurt his chances for a second term) in return for passing PAYGO, Pay As You Go, rules in the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990.

Anonymous said...

Us Population: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/#panel-2

Us Public Debt:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2186rank.html

Historical Debt:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

Anonymous said...

I wonder which one of you has a viable place in the work force?
Not to "attack the individual", seems one may be tapping the public largesse themselves.
Guilty motivation perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of validity of the web site - straight out of DC politicians mouth - we are 14 trillion in debt (Not including SS spent money) it takes less time to simply divide 14 trillion by 300 million people and you get the same figure as the debtclock web site. There, that took me much less time than to seek out the origin of a web site that in this case easily proves to be accurate. Obviously whoever runs it is smart enough to use a calculator.

Anonymous said...

Where'd he go?
Look for a calculator I suppose.

Greg said...

Thanks to all the recent visitors. For the record, I'm no longer all that interested in the numbers and never really were. A more careful reading of my original post bears that out.

The site itself has changed and evolved quite a bit since my original post 2+ years ago, too. It now has state debt tickers, loan calculators, and lots of advertisements.

What hasn't changed is the anonymity of the site's creators and administrators.

Email requests to comments@usdebtclock.org have gone unanswered. Perhaps one of you many Anonymous visitors will be more successful if you send them an email.

Then you can return here to tell all of us who is behind this site, if they started it with Reagan or when W pissed away the surplus he inherited.

I'm not saying we don't have a problem today. I'm still just asking who is behind the site.

"If anyone knows anything more about this website, its origins and, most importantly, who is behind it I would like to know."

A Terrible Rage said...

I've seen the usdebtclock.org link used, typically by conservatives, as evidence for this, that, and the other. As such, I decided to try and find out who was behind it, because I am not a very trusting person by nature. Sadly, I have come up empty.

But, I am not defeated yet.

That out of the way, I did find the assertion by some people that the Democrats were culpable for the current economic screw job, rather than Bush the Lesser, was worth a laugh. While they may have had a majority in the House, or Senate, or both, they certainly weren't in control of anything. It also ignores Bush's fiscal responsibility to have vetoed any of the Dem's out of control spending, being a conservative, and all fiscally responsible like.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the site, so thanks.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing, if you're really techy and you're really concerned of the validity of the site, the first thing you should have done was view the source.

Did it have any mathematical calculations? Did you find any code that your recognize when you "did this thing before?"

I would do that, but I caught a dead end with the .swf files (for the guy wayyy back then wondering why it installs an "unverifiable" Adobe program, which is actually Adobe Flash, which in turn is also used in like 85% of the world's PC anyway). I don't have the resources to edit .swf files to see if they try to sync to reputable websites. But if YOU can check then this will answer your 2-year question indefinitely.

NoeValleyJim said...

The numbers are more or less correct for the total national debt but they are wrong in a number of other places, most notably in the Assets column. Go check out the Federal Reserve numbers for yourself, which the debt clock guys claim are there source. Email to them asking for clarification gets ignored. I think they are deliberately trying to fool people.

Anonymous said...

It appears you've spent as much time on this post as you could verifying the actual data. I randomly chose a data point from the site, mortgage debt, and took about 20 seconds to find it here:

www.gpoaccess.gov/eop/2011/xls/ERP-2011-table76.xls

Seeing that the site, as you already determined, is a data counter that projects the data using trends, this estimate on the USdebt site does not seem unreasonable compared to the data in the link I provided above.

Your conspiracy theories are as sad as 9/11 truthers or birthers.

These data points are independently verifiable by going to each of the sources quoted on the site and looking.

I too am a skeptical person by nature but I generally take the time to look up the statistics themselves on my own rather than go all tin foil hat right off the cuff.

Greg said...

Dear Anonymous of 9/24,

Thanks for the visit, the link and your comments.

No tin foil hats here.

The original post was in 2009. At that time, the site was different. It was much thinner in content and there was no advertising. See older posts for details on the changes I've observed. My suspicion, then as now, could be called a "conspiracy theory", I suppose, if you as the reader won't to read more into the post and the subsequent discussion than is really there.

Two years ago, I was asking questions based upon what I saw as some suspicious observations I was making. To date, no one has really yet really addressed those observations.

1. It seemed to me that the timing of when this site was brought to my attention by an ultraconservative friend was suspicious considering it was W's debt, not O's.

No one can dispute that fact.


2. To this day, no one has stepped forward to indicate ownership of the site beyond what I found by checking the web site name's registration. There is nothing of significance on http://www.usdebtclock.org/about.html to identify who started, owns, or operates this site.

No one can, as of today, dispute that fact.

3. Why did I never get a response from the comments@usdebtclock.org about any of these questions?

Unless someone wants to accuse me of lying, I did send that email 2 years ago and to this date I have never received a response.


So I ask you and all future visitors to please resist the temptation to jump to too many conclusions about me or anyone for that matter. Instead, I would ask that responses to the outstanding questions from the original post be the focus.

"Where was this site when W was running things into the ground at historic levels not seen since Reagen? Did I just miss this site back then? Did no one think to send it to me back then? Why am I only getting it now?"

If anyone wants to address these issues, I'd very much like that.

Robert said...

It really annoys me when liberal bloggers like Greg starts poking around into other peoples privacy. Maybe we should ask Greg to post his contact information? We want to know who's behind these "suspicious" blogs.

My question to you, Greg, is why do you care so much about who owns the site? Why does it matter that this debtclock started in 2008, when others have been around for more than 20 years?

If it has accurate, verifiable data from government sources, it is a public service that remind ALL US Citizens of the trouble our government have created.

All presidents in recent history have added to the US Debt. Obama is just doing it at a faster rate than anyone else in US history.

For your information, even Clinton added to the US Debt every single year. There was never a surplus! That was a lie. The excess was just borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund rather than other people and it's SUPPOSED to be paid back. see http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

That's one reason SS is in trouble, the government keeps raiding the excess income generated by the FICA taxes to pay for pork-barrel projects. BOTH parties do it and I'm sick of it.

That said, it is CONGRESS that spends the money. The presidents job is to make recommendations and then to sign off on the final budget. It is the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) that writes the appropriations and pays the checks.

Historically we have had LOWER deficits when Republicans are in control of Congress and HIGHER deficits when Democrats are. And presidents take the credit or the blame for it, no matter the party.

Obama is going to have a lot to answer to this year as he takes the blame for Congress spending $1.5T per year more than we take in for a total of $4.5T in three years (as much as Bush did in eight years). And Obama has NEVER EVEN SIGNED OFF ON A BUDGET. Congress just keep advancing spending bills.

It must really suck trying to defend our current sorry excuse for a president. Bush was bad enough, but Obama is just terrible. I feel bad for those that try.

Greg said...

Robert, thanks for the visit and the post. You clearly spent some time on it. Too bad, too. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

I don't suppose it would be worth my while or helpful to point you to credible sources to refute what you've posted. Craig Steiner? A programmer from Colorado? (http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/1) Please. That the best you can do? He has no more credibility than I do. :)

And, thanks for ignoring my introduction at the top of the post and immediately above your post and not answering any of the questions I'm still asking about this site. You see, in the real world it really does matter where information comes from and who is offering it. Faux Snooze, el Rushbo and that whole lot is all the proof anyone should need of that.

Anyway, thanks again and good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Greg I think your missing the point. It is information, the agenda is in your head. What does it matter who is behind the source if the information is valid. Will you view the information differently say if you knew it was backed by a conservative group. Would it appease you if it was a democratic group? You want the source to skew the information. If not than why are you so concerned with the owner?

Anonymous said...

It does seem to be generally accurate, but I don't think that's good enough to be a respectable source to calculate Public debt and related measures. Whether or not it is instilling a political impression one doesn't like I do enjoy the webpage, it's interesting. This kind of stuff really appeals to the libertarian economic type who complain about the Federal Reserve and much so, the national debt. We have a major debt, that needs to be put in a long term perspective of accountability, but public debt is not one of the captor of the U.S. Economy, only if it's used to promote austerity and alarmist anti-Keynsianism. That is because we are not Greece, we have a sovereign currency and our debt securities are a highly sought out and stabilizing factor to the whole global economy that isn't likely to be soon abandoned. Although somewhere in the longterm, it could reach that point if it's not put in that accountable perspective. Despite what the libertarian's say, they base their economic beliefs in ideology and not what is historic knowledge and facts. They assert their anti-public debt and anti elastic currency all the time as fact but because they feel moralistically superior to some kind of system they do not truly understand. While inflation does devalue the dollars of the average middle to low class citizen, and there have been terrible imbalanced policy that have led for it to contribute to more income inequality, elastic currency and floating exchanges as managed by the Federal Reserve have created a much more stable monetary system in an ever expanding world and thus economy. If we were to try a Gold Standard with an economy, a world economy, like we have now, we would imperil the stability of the whole global economy, and truly those with control of resources would benefit while the peripheries would suffer.

Anonymous said...

thanks greg for bringing our attention to this site we were advised to go on this site to check the situation in the us. as we were being persuaded to buy gold bullion.check out http://gold-insight.com as the advert on usdebtclock.org is very similar to there websight parrot uk.

Anonymous said...

both sides are full of it at this point and both sides are responsible. bush added a ton of debt followed by obama who added a ton more. i can show videos of both of them lying through their teeth. however whats the point both sides will just make excuses for their respective side. both the republicans and democrats are screwing you sideways one from the left and one from the right. bush needed to go and now obama needs to go. anyone who thinks one sides is all to blame in this or even mostly to blame is an idiot. everyone in the us is to blame for voting in liars on both sides.

Anonymous said...

I read the OP, a lot of the comments, and see Greg continually repeating the same thing over and over.

Greg, dood, DO THE LEGWORK already. You are not happy with usdebtclock.org, you want to continually question it, then stop whying and spinning and do some BASIC RESEARCH and see if the numbers are correct.

Seriously man, you come across as just plain lazy, pure and simple -- or someone with an agenda to spin away the numbers as they spin away.

There may be some numbers on that clock that are harder to verify than others, but some of the larger base numbers in regards to national debt, social security, etc are VERY easy to find from government agencise.

So seriously man, stop being lazy and stop sowing doubt and PROVE IT WRONG.

Time youf you to "put up or shut up".

This is a non-partisan mesage from me, who thinks the whol lot of DC could sink in the Potomac and the country would be far better off the very next day.

Greg said...

Dear Anonymous of 8/18/12,
I suspect you really didn't read much of the post; otherwise, you wouldn't be coming to such disconnected conclusions about it.

This post originated out of a desire to know who was behind it. So, here is a copy of the text from the very top of the post. I ask that you and all future visitors please, please, please pay attention to it before posting criticisms of me. Thanks.

********** PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING A RESPONSE **********

Dear Anonymous of 9/24/11 (and all future visitors),

Thanks for the visit, the link and your comments.

No tin foil hats here.

The original post was in 2009. At that time, the site was different. It was much thinner in content and there was no advertising. See older posts for details on the changes I've observed. My suspicion, then as now, could be called a "conspiracy theory", I suppose, if you as the reader want to read more into the post and the subsequent discussion than is really there.

Two years ago I was asking questions based upon what I saw as some suspicious observations I was making. To date, no one has really addressed those observations.

1. It seemed to me that the timing of when this site was brought to my attention by an ultraconservative friend was suspicious considering it was W's debt, not O's.

No one can dispute that fact.


2. To this day, no one has stepped forward to indicate ownership of the site beyond what I found by checking the web site name's registration. There is nothing of significance on http://www.usdebtclock.org/about.html to identify who started, owns, or operates this site.

No one can, as of today, dispute that fact.

3. Why did I never get a response from the comments@usdebtclock.org about any of these questions?

Unless someone wants to accuse me of lying, I did send that email 2 years ago and to this date I have never received a response.


So I ask you and all future visitors to please resist the temptation to jump to too many conclusions about me or anyone for that matter. Instead, I would ask that responses to the outstanding questions from the original post be the focus.

"Where was this site when W was running things into the ground at historic levels not seen since Reagen?"

"Did I just miss this site back then? Did no one think to send it to me back then? Why am I only getting it now?"


If anyone wants to address these issues, I'd very much like that. Thanks and have a nice day.

*********************************************************************

Anonymous said...

Just found this site (blog) and there's some thoughtful comment here... There's also a lot of evidence for why our nation has "disappeared" from greatness. Too many of us are focused on the painfully superficial while over-analyzing nearly everything - the irony! Most seem to be focused on the exact numbers, who's "responsible" (owns) them, etc. When all the while, whether or not the numbers on the clock are off slightly doesn't matter whatsoever. If the numbers are even remotely close, it's a tragedy, which, by the way; it is. Good luck in finding your answer pertaining to the clock's "owner." In the mean time, all who post here and are completely distracted by the superficial, maybe stop to see the forest for the trees every once in a while?

Greg said...

Hello, Anonymous 10/8/2012. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts. Have to disagree with your assessment, though. I don't think our nation is disappearing from greatness. We just seem to be living in a period of time and in our history when too many people are paying way too much attention to those few who would dupe the gullible among us into believing almost anything. I'd give anything to come back in 100 years to see how our progeny shakes their head in disbelief at how badly we behaved, how willingly we believed anything, and how reluctant so many were to actually care about facts and their sources.

Anonymous said...

I came to your blog searching for the same thing, i.e. who is behind usdebtclock.org.

Even though the numbers shown on that website may be correct, its representation is wrong. i.e the national debt is shown as something that's bad that the govt borrowed from someone else. When in fact it is not.
The US govt budget is not like a household or business's budget. Since 1971, the world is no longer on a gold standard. All major currencies are now what's called fiat currency. So it is important to understand the following

1 – The government creates its money by spending it. Every time the Treasury writes a check to a government supplier or employee, it is creating money.
2 – The government destroys money by taxation.

3 – The government subsidizes savers by creating interest-bearing Treasury Bonds. These bonds give private savers a safe place to put their money, and the interest rate paid on these bonds makes them more or less attractive to savers. Higher interest rates means a higher rate of government subsidy to lazy investors. By doing this, the government can encourage them to take their private money out of the economy, and thus discourage inflation by destroying demand. Or, by lowering interest rates, it can encourage them to find other, better-paying investments, and thus hopefully encourage economic activity by stimulating demand.

4 – There is no direct connection between these three activities. Tax revenues do not fund spending any more than Treasury Bonds fund government spending, because the Treasury of the United States is infinitely solvent in US Dollars and can create as many of them as it wants, at any time, for any reason.

5 – The real purpose of taxation is to give value to the US Dollar. People need dollars to pay their tax liabilities. A secondary purpose of taxation is to destroy money in the hands of private persons, thereby destroying demand and discouraging a variety of activities.

The National Debt, that is, the total of all outstanding Treasury Bonds, is a tool to manage the behaviors of savers and investors. As the Treasury is infinitely solvent, all decisions about the size of the National Debt should be made with particular economic and behavioral goals in mind. There is no reason at all to connect the rate at which Treasury Bonds are created to either tax rates or spending levels, except in terms of the larger economic goals of the government as a whole.

The upshot of all this is that all this talk of government deficits and a ballooning national debt is pure delusion. Too many people think of money as if we were still on the Gold Standard, and it was possible in some way to "run out" of money. The only real limit on government spending is the capacity of the American economy and American workers to produce the goods and services the government and the private sector wish to consume. So long as there is mass unemployment, we are nowhere close to reaching the limit of that capacity.

h/t Zwackus at Dailykos

Greg said...

Thanks, Zwackus. Read your larger post at Dailykos, too. Interesting take. Thanks for sharing.

Fatal KB1 said...

I just spent the better part of an hour reading literally every comment on this page. This is an interesting conversation at points. I was originally brought here by the "usdebtclock.org" page as I was searching for its sources. I turned up no results, but I became somewhat interested in the "political debate" portion of this blog and couldn't help but to agree with some comments and respectfully disagree with others. I do not see myself as a typically biased individual, nor do I consider myself a Democrat or Republican. Instead, I am more of an Independent who has some Libertarian views. I believe that indeed, the Democrats are to blame for our defecit. I will tell you in the same breath, however, that Republicans are EQUALLY responsible. People want to blame everything on the president, then blame it all on Congress. W was an idiot, and Obama makes me wonder what our country is coming to (I am by no means racist. I am referring to his policies. Also, I was saying that Bush and Obama are equally moronic). It doesn't matter who you voted for this year, as they were both essentially the same candidate. They are both liars who pretend that their reckless spending and illogical policies will bring us out of debt and magically fix the U.S. if you just vote for them. Bottom line; Politicians are full of lies and false hope, and I'm sorry to say that our nation may fall just as previous world superpowers. Wether it happens in 20 years or 200, I believe that this nation is doomed to a drastic downfall if we continue on our current path. Again, i am not against Democrats, nor am I against Republicans; I'm opposed to ignorance. I'm fairly sure you could agree, Greg?

netbacker said...

Fatal KB1 - Did you see and read the 2nd last comment by me? Dated October 8, 2012 5:38 PM
Unlike what you think we are NOT doomed. The debt clock is the exact opposite of what we generally thing.
Our government's debt is the private sector's savings. It can't be any other way. The $16 Trillion is what have been saved by the domestic non-government sector and the foreign sector. Every penny of it.
We went off the gold standard in 1971, but somehow still operate as if we are under one. The dollar bill or a Treasury bond promise nothing else but another dollar bill or a bond. Not a fraction of gold or silver.
The 99% of us are fooled into believing that our federal government is like a household, and has to match its spending with its income.
Households can only earn or borrow the dollars, whereas the federal government creates and issues dollars when it spends. Think about that.

Greg said...

Fatal and netbacker, thanks for visiting and sharing. All empires fall. Ours will be no exception. The only thing that can save us is more progressive and inclusive principles in everything from social norms and domestic politics to environmental protection and corporate oversight to foreign policy and human rights.

Greg said...

Fatal and netbacker, thanks for visiting and sharing. All empires fall. Ours will be no exception. The only thing that can save us is more progressive and inclusive principles in everything from social norms and domestic politics to environmental protection and corporate oversight to foreign policy and human rights.

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg -- fascinating that this post has had comments attached to it for 3+ years and no one has cracked the mystery of who runs the usdebtclock.org web site. I strongly suspect it's a very wealthy person who holds to the mantra of reducing debt but whose real goal is reducing the size of government and rolling back the gains the middle class made during a more progressive era (early 30s through late 80s). Someone who is not in favor of reducing debt via higher taxes on the wealthy but instead wants the vulnerable (e.g. children, the poor, the elderly) to make all the sacrifices.

Greg said...

Hi, Anonymous of 12/26/2012. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm so glad to see others recognize what this post is really about. It does come down to source, context, and timing. All things being equal, your theory seems rational and as good as any. Until the owner/operator of the site steps forward to take ownership, I think we'll go with it! :-)

Anonymous said...

When people say 'debt doesn't matter',they're wrong because debt has to be paid; investors rely on that principle. The real question is once the bulk of the baby boomers retire and the demands on Social Security and Medicare sharply increase,Will there be enough buyers of US debt? If the government doesn't borrow and seeks to pay it's obligation the US will become what George Will recently stated,'A retirement community with an army' because all government revenue will go for those programs. And to just print money to meet obligations would set off massive inflation because each dollar would be worth that much less. The only way to offset this would be to grow the economy at a matched rate. More value to hold value for the increased quantity of currency. This article from Forbes gives a good explaination: http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/04/consumer-debt-deficit-budget-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that sovereign debt doesn't matter and that the government can just create money to meet it's obligations, doesn't understand inflation and the consequences it brings. With a fiat monetary system it's true they may do that, but does everyone forget so soon the housing bubble? If you inflate the value of anything, even the US economy,it eventually receaches a point that the intrinsic value of the product doesn't match it's assigned value. That's when you get a collapse with a contraction that is devastating to the economy. Look at how government loans and subsidizes have distorted the cost of a college education. Market forces have to be brought to bear for real value to be determined. Magical thinking ends by age 8; there is no Santa Claus.

ClassicalProgressive said...

I follow @nationaldebt, a verified twitter account and the ONLY twitter account Rep. Paul Ryan follows.

With that said, the US debt clock's numbers are way off, by $100 billion, or so compared to the verified account.

Currently @nationaldebt is at
$16,738,105,803,858 for July 25th 2013.

The debt clock is at
$16,877,466,600,100 at this exact moment.

Charles Edwards said...

I checked several of the numbers against CBOs. They are way off. Their claims that they use sophisticated formulas are a laugh (show your work!). And their substantiation is non-existent; anyone can cite to a source, but the acid test is whether the source actually supports your point. In this case, they do not -- the citations are just window-dressing. Whatever their motives, these folks have something to hide. It would be a public service if someone would track down who is behind it.

Kirk VanGelder said...

Classical Progressive....You are saying that "the debtclock is way off"...but $100 Billion off when you are talking about a $17 TRILLION dollar debt is less than 1% off....That's not "WAY OFF"...it is a little bit off...The fact of the matter is that it is MORE THAN 99% correct! And $17 Trillion dollars is A LOT OF DEBT!!! Which is the point of the debt clock!

pjpw said...

Greg, I have read all the comments in this post and agree totally with you firstly in relation to the concern over the anonymity of who is behind usdebtclock.org and secondly, your political observations.

I have been searching as well and came across the following link.
http://who.pho.to/usdebtclock.org

You mentioned that you thought it was suspicious that this clock emerged right at the time of the 2008 election, 1 day before to be precise. The above link shows that it expires 3 November 2016, 2 days after the 2016 election.

Coincidence? I think not.


Peter Wills

Jennifer Williams, BS, MSHS said...

I was excited to see the gov website postings - yay to that! Even though it is credibility of the government, as the purpose here; it is the best source of consideration. Also, it can be argued likewise, that if they are accounting for that - it is undeniably a debt to be noticed. Here is my contention, am I the only one who recognizes that our own government is robbing us blind? Why are our annual wages, on average, decreasing in 14 years? How is each person worth such a high amount and yet, spending higher? Now from my own expenditures that number is way off. What is tipping the scales and expediating the average to such a huge extent? Here are some patterns that can't be ignored: Medicare spending vs. insurance company take in; Pharmaceutical revenue; and last but not least US unfunded liabilities...what on earth is that? Surely not non-profit and imperialistic measures?

Jennifer Williams, BS, MSHS said...

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current

btw....

This is a good validation site for usdebtclock.org

Anonymous said...

Who cares to what administration you attribute the debt? You're wrong, btw, in placing all of that on Bush. And that's just a red herring, anyway, because the DEBT IS A PROBLEM. Here's the US Budget since 1962 to 2020 - might help in understanding rather than clinging to your identity politics.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2016/assets/hist03z2.xls

The national debt is a BIG problem. $18 Trillion, with a $500 Billion deficit. Obfuscation and blame are the bullshit tools R's and D's have used to drag us to the precipice of failure in the name of Payola to Big Business and Big Union.

Allen Rancki said...

Greg,
Old news now, but try Chrono Numeric Labs LLC to get a handle on who started usdebtclock
and more importantly how accurate is now. Best Regards

Anonymous said...

So, the way they claim it works - is that you see the #s from the previous year - then the projected budget for year-end. The 'running numbers' is just a formula that updates every *insert time table here* to cover those two gaps.

Anonymous said...

I didn't attempt to verify the numerical accuracy of the displayed numbers. The principal numbers look reasonably close to other sources.

However, usdebtclock.org has two GROSS DISTORTIONS, which cause its main results to give an extremely misleading impression.

First, it does not account for loans from one part of the federal government to another. These amounts belong in both the debt and credit columns. To treat them as though they are equivalent to other federal debts is accounting malpractice. The present value of intra-government loans is about 5 trillion dollars.

Second, it completely omits all assets held by the federal government. These include the asset side of the intra-government loans (see above), and mineral deposits presently valued at tens of trillions of dollars. Total federal assets are likely on the order of 100 trillion dollars or more.

If an accountant wants to lose his certification, all he needs to do is to prepare a supposed balance sheet with brain-dead errors like those on usdebtclock.org

Jim Van said...

Ridiculous. The national debt is more than $80 trillion using "generally accepted accounting principles" and I see people making claims about intragovernmental holdings when a consolidation of the "on-budget" and "off-budget" would erase that entirely (any to/from accounts under a unified balance sheet). In that case, the so-called Social Security Trust Fund would be revealed for the fiction and accounting gimmick it is.

To drag federal accounting into the 19th, 20th, or even 21st century, the basis of the Rube Goldberg system of federal accounting must change from the half sentence reference to accountability in the Constitution at Article I Section 9 Clause 7, a reference that is archaic and inadequate but nevertheless is the "pin" foundation balancing "the elephant" to form our rickety and untrustworthy so-called accounting system.

Unknown said...

Bush inherited no such surplus. After the Dems lost the House and Senate in the mid 90's they had a budget proposal the Bill simply signed and got credit for. They had an available amount of money (which was still technically debt) to work with. They simply didn't max out the CREDIT card. We were still over a trillion in debt. Bill set Bush up for failure with several policies he enacted in the early 90's that essentially hit when Bush was in office and just before. The big mistakes were the racist Woodrow Wilson (Federal Reserve) and the crazy New (bad) Deal grantor, FDR.