Defeat the Debt Campaign Launches Ad Blitz with Billboards in Times Square

Uncle Sam drowning in NYC Times Square

Drowning Uncle Sam Illustrates Mounting Danger of U.S. Debt

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2010) — Today, Defeat the Debt (DTD) launched the second phase of a nationwide advertising campaign to educate the American people about the national debt and the long and short-term personal consequences of the government spending money we don’t have.

The campaign will include new television commercials and full-page advertisements in newspapers across the country. An enhanced website,, features a counter showing the national debt rising by the second.

The second phase of this multi-million dollar campaign launches today with a five-billboard mosaic in Times Square.  The ad makes the following points:

  • The national debt at the time the billboard was erected — $12,863,049,415,216.38;
  • The phrase “America is drowning in debt” is illustrated by an Uncle Sam struggling to stay afloat;
  • “$500 million in interest payments every day” drives home the urgency of the problem.

“It’s extremely important that people understand just how dangerous America’s national debt truly is,” said Defeat the Debt’s Executive Director Rick Berman. “In just the last year, the debt has ballooned by an additional $1.6 trillion to more than $12.8 trillion, and the consequences of this ever-expanding burden could be disastrous.”

Berman continued, “Americans fail to realize how much money we owe other nations and just how much it would cost us if our bond rating were downgraded as a result of this unsustainable borrowing. If we don’t take action now, we could end up like Greece, where profligate spending has driven the nation to the brink of bankruptcy and threatens to drag down the entire continent of Europe.”

For more information, go to To schedule an interview with a spokesperson, contact Sarah Longwell at 202.463.7650.

Defeat the Debt is a project of the Employment Policies Institute, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues that affect the American economy.

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Uncle Sam Spotted

Defeat the Debt has stationed destitute Uncle Sams around American cities to ask commuters and tourists for help repaying the $16 trillion national debt. So far Uncle Sam has been spotted in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
Defeat The Debt's Uncle Sam photosetDefeat The Debt's Uncle Sam photoset