The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Chuck Pinkey

October 9, 2012

Rising debt too hot to handle for clock

A terrible thing happened the other day. The U.S. Debt Clock was spinning on full “rock ‘n’ roll” at 16,200 rpm. There were reports of smoke and a peculiar metal-on-metal sound, and suddenly, the U.S. Debt Clock came to a screeching halt.

In 2004, the original U.S. Debt Clock bearings were designed to last for 90 years, but Jan. 20, 2008, an inspection was made, and they were found to be in “like-new” condition. However, the technicians had no idea what was in store.

Because of excessive heat and friction from ratcheting up debt of $4 billion per day, the 2-inch Triple-Lip Sealed Timken Marine-Class bearings seized and galled themselves onto the main rotor.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the stress of going from 16,200 rpm to zero in 3/16th of a second stripped the main 2-inch chrome molybdenum 45-spline drive shaft. This trauma sent shrapnel and debris throughout the mechanism, causing instant shutdown.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC immediately reported that “Due to unprecedented efforts and skillful governance, President Obama and the Democratic Party have cut spending dramatically, stopped the growth of debt, and a balanced budget is sure to follow.”

In the real world, have you ever visited the website Take a stiff drink (you will need it) and surf to that website. With our national debt at $16.2 trillion, each taxpayer owes more than $141,000 and climbing. That’s today, not next week or next month, and it’s only principal, not interest.

At the federal level, we are spending $3.7 trillion per year, and that’s $1.3 trillion more than we are taking in; but don’t worry, China is making up the difference.

States and local levels of government are spending slightly less than $3 trillion per year, additionally. Only God knows their shortfall.

Therefore, total federal, state and local spending is at $6.4 trillion, or almost 42 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, which is the total of all good and services bought and sold in the USA each year. I believe most countries in the European Economic Union have a lower ratio.

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Chuck Pinkey

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