Visualize the Debt Tabling at University at Buffalo

The UB Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty had our Visualize the Debt event during the last week of March. Needing to buy a table and other supplies, and with a projected rainy weather forecast, we decided to nix the plywood board idea and go with a “simulation” one. For each of the 14 digits of the debt, we had a booklet with 10 pages. The pages had digits 1-9 on them. Every 15 minutes or so, we would look up the current debt, and flip each of the 14 booklets. Interested passerby were shocked by how much the debt was changing in such short timeframes — which was the point in our flipbook “Visualize the Debt” idea. At 9 a.m.,the debt was $14,265,648,239,345 (although the last 5 digits don’t really matter, since they change every second):

Pre-Tabling Debt Count

We also calculated the fraction of a certain amount of rice that the $100 billion cuts the GOP broposed would bring compared to the actual debt. If only we had known then that they would only end up cutting $38 billion!

Visualize the Rice

We also asked passerby what they would want to cut from the budget, if it was their choice. Our results:

Visualize the Tallies

Defense got the most tallies, and we were happy to see that some college students (who tend to be liberal) opened up to cutting things like Social Security and welfare.

By the end of the debt, the debt was $14,266,072,739,749:

Post-Tabling Debt Count

After a mere 6 hours, the debt had increased by over $400,000,000 (400 Billion). How’s that for insignificance of our current cuts!

-Tatyana Zinger, President of YAL – University at Buffalo

Published in

Post a comment