This is the marquee-sized national debt clock in Times Square, located at 1133 Sixth Avenue at 44th Street, hanging near the entrance to the city's Internal Revenue Service office in midtown Manhattan. The clock keeps a running tally of the U.S. national debt, which has reached more than $14 trillion as of today, as well as the portion of that debt owed by every family, which is about $122,000. The late real-estate developer Seymour Durst was obsessed with the national debt. In 1989, he had the 8-by-11-foot digital counter installed to remind Americans how much the government had put them in the hole.
"If the debt stops, the clock will stop. If the debt goes up, the clock goes up. If the debt goes down, the clock will reverse itself, said Jordan Barowitz, spokesman for the Durst Organization, which owns the iconic ticker.
In recent weeks, the US national debt crisis has grabbed the headlines. Tonight, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached an agreement on a legislative package that would extend the federal debt ceiling while cutting spending and guaranteeing further deficit-reduction steps.