Multi-Million Dollar Campaign to Defeat the Debt Continues with 17 Homeless Uncle Sams Begging for $12 Trillion on the Streets of Washington, D.C.

TV Commercial Featuring Children Pledging Allegiance to “the Chinese Government that Lends Us Money” Continues to Air Nationwide
  • Publication Date: October 2009

  • Topics: Health Care

WASHINGTON – Today the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is launching “stage 2” of a high-profile, multi-million dollar ad campaign highlighting the threat posed by unsustainable borrowing and spending. The campaign comes amidst reports that the Senate will soon be forced to raise the debt ceiling in the face of unprecedented deficit spending. The current debt is $11.9 trillion, dangerously close to the $12.1 trillion debt ceiling. That is why EPI is stationing 17 destitute Uncle Sams across the city today to beg for $12 trillion from taxpayers.

The campaign also includes a national television commercial, which is currently airing on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC. The ad also ran on Meet the Press last Sunday morning. EPI also launched a new website,, devoted to educating the public about the enormous federal debt.

Additionally, a full-page ad is running in the Wall Street Journal today. The ad features a downtrodden Uncle Sam holding a sign saying, “I Want YOU to Give Me $12 Trillion.” The text of the ad reads:

The United States government owes more debt than any other nation in the world: $11.9 trillion. We spend almost $500 million on interest payments every day. Much of it to foreign banks and governments. The White House predicts that by 2019 we will spend more tax dollars for interest on the debt than for our national defense.

The national television commercial begins with students standing in a classroom as if to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Instead they say:

I pledge allegiance to America’s debt…and to the Chinese government that lends us money… And to the interest…for which we pay…compoundable…with higher taxes…and lower pay…until the day we die.

“This campaign is all about getting people to understand the frightening reality of the massive federal debt,” said EPI Executive Director Richard Berman. “People do not realize just how much 12 trillion dollars is, and what it will take for our country to get out from under that level of debt. Americans also aren’t aware of how much money we now owe to foreign governments and just how unsustainable our current level of spending is. We have to do something to defeat the debt now, or we will live to regret it.”