Debt Heads: Americans Follow Record $11 Trillion National Debt on Twitter

Mar 19, 2009, 13:55 ET from Peter G. Peterson Foundation

PGPF's New Media/Social Networking Efforts Attract Thousands Online Via Twitter, Launches National Debt Page On Facebook

NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- With no leading efforts on social networking sites to track the national debt, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF) recently announced it is offering interested citizens the opportunity to track the growth of the national debt on a daily basis via Twitter, and most recently through Facebook.

This week, followers of PGPF's National Debt on Twitter witnessed a record high when its national debt "tweet" clocked in at $11,033,157,578,669.78 -- crossing the $11 trillion mark for the first time in U.S. history.

By going virtual, PGPF now provides an easy way for Americans to monitor a part of our nation's financial obligations every day -- without the space limitations of the famous "national debt clock" which was a prominent fixture in New York City's Times Square neighborhood, until in ran out of numbers in 2008.

PGPF's National Debt on Twitter has experienced a surge of interest, primarily through "word-of-mouse", and now has over 5,000 followers and growing.

As Americans feel tremendous anxiety and doubt over the nation's weakened economic state, more and more people have turned to social networking sites to get informed and share their concerns with others online.

In response, PGPF has now launched the National Debt Page on Facebook. After visiting the National Debt Page and "becoming a fan," concerned Americans receive daily Facebook updates of the Treasury Department's national debt numbers. The Facebook account also has the added advantage of allowing users to connect with other Facebook "fans" of the National Debt from across the world.

Unnerving as our $11 trillion national debt may be, factoring in the government's off-the-balance sheet liabilities and unfunded retirement and health care obligations, $11 trillion is just the tip of the iceberg. The real national debt is actually $56.4 trillion, or $483,000 per U.S. household.

National Debt on Twitter:

National Debt on Facebook:

PGPF President & CEO Dave Walker on Facebook:

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About PGPF

Since its launch in July 2008, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation has invested nearly $11 million in grants to raise awareness of, and seek solutions to the fiscal challenges posed by the rising costs of health care and retirement and a near-zero household savings rate. To address these challenges successfully, the nonpartisan Foundation works to bring Americans together to find sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides. The Foundation also distributes the critically acclaimed feature documentary I.O.U.S.A., which tells the story of the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the U.S. economy. For more information, see

SOURCE Peter G. Peterson Foundation