New Ad Campaign Says You Owe the Government $483,000

Exclusive: Group uses the comedy of Stone and Stone to highlight your share of the federal debt.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Paying taxes isn't fun, but what more can you do but laugh when considering your household's piece of the national debt: $483,000? To help that chuckle along, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation today is unveiling some Web spots featuring the comic team Stone and Stone in roles as accountants Owen & Payne. Their punch line after detailing the $483,000 bill: "You'll be owing, and you'll be paying." Whispers was given the exclusive early look at the videos here.

Dave Walker, Peterson president, says, "Owen & Payne was created to help alert Americans in a light-hearted way to a critical problem: the $56.4 trillion federal financial burden that young people and future generations are inheriting." The bottom line, he says, is that "every American household bears a $483,000 burden, or $184,000 per person, on top of his or her actual taxes."

The Peterson Foundation, a group dedicated to highlighting the woes of the national debt, has come up with other innovative ways, like teaming with MTV's college network mtvU in the InDebtEd awareness campaign.

As for Stone and Stone, they are brothers Todd Stone and Adam Stone, who've performed at many comic clubs and appeared on NBC's Last Comic Standing.

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Corrected on : Corrected on 4/13/09: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the amount of federal financial burden. The Peterson Foundation's campaign is spotlighting the $56.4 trillion burden.