We saw the National Debt Clock prominently displayed at last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa.

We're not surprised that the visual is nowhere to be seen now at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. Another reminder of how badly this administration's policies is compounding that debt is not the kind of graphic Democrats need to put points on the board with undecided voters.

But all the convention balloons in the world can't mask those depressing numbers. We're losing $43,759.51 a second with every tick of the clock. Individually, it's depressing enough when we miss a credit card payment and see how fast the debt multiplies. But a debt of $16 trillion? That's just way beyond comprehension.

Four years ago, this president hammered then-President George Bush for adding $4 trillion to the national debt during his eight years in office. Obama used words like "irresponsible "and "unpatriotic" in describing how the Bush administration had accumulated the debt, saddling our children and grandchildren for years to come.

"We now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back $30,000 for every man, woman and child," Obama said at a campaign event in Fargo, N.D. on July 3, 2008.

Now, since Obama has already presided over a more than 25 percent increase in government spending (over $5.3 trillion) in just three and a half years, the new debt piled up by the administration is suddenly a non-issue this week in Charlotte.

The debt now costs $3.5 billion a day. At about 104 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, it is now larger than the American economy, a very dangerous milestone since it underlines our economic weakness in the global community.

The Democrats may not have the debt numbers on display at their gathering this week but be assured, that debt clock never rests. It will continue to strangle any hopes for economic recovery, unmoved by Democratic speakers trying to have us believe – with a straight face – how much better off we all are now than four years ago and how we can benefit from another Obama term in office.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com