National debt clock

The National Debt Clock, which displays the current United States gross national debt and each American family's share, hangs on a wall next to an office for the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORGOV000010" title="Internal Revenue Service" href="/topic/business/internal-revenue-service-ORGOV000010.topic">Internal Revenue Service</a> near <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLTRA0000160" title="Times Square" href="/topic/travel/commuting/times-square-PLTRA0000160.topic">Times Square</a>, in New York. The <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORGOV000051" title="U.S. Department of the Treasury" href="/topic/business/economy/u.s.-department-of-the-treasury-ORGOV000051.topic">Treasury Department</a> said the nation had hit its $14.294 trillion debt limit -- a milestone that has little practical impact beyond injecting a note of urgency into the debate over taxes and spending that has dominated Washington this year.

( Reuters photo / May 16, 2011 )

The National Debt Clock, which displays the current United States gross national debt and each American family's share, hangs on a wall next to an office for the Internal Revenue Service near Times Square, in New York. The Treasury Department said the nation had hit its $14.294 trillion debt limit -- a milestone that has little practical impact beyond injecting a note of urgency into the debate over taxes and spending that has dominated Washington this year.

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