The National Debt Clock is seen inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in preparation for the Republican National Convention on August 20, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Courtesy Getty Images.
TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Times Forum has a new kind of scoreboard -- a "national debt clock" that is ticking up to $16 trillion.
The ever-ticking clock, hanging above the delegates to the Republican convention, is designed to be "a compelling visual reinforcing the desperate need for new fiscal leadership in the White House," says the Republican National Committee.
Party chairman chairman Reince Priebus will formally activate the clock -- starting at a figure above $15.9 trillion -- when he convenes the proceedings at 2 p.m. today.
"This clock reminds every delegate and every American why we are here in Tampa - because America can and must do better," Priebus said. "Every American's share of the national debt has increased by approximately $16,000 during the current administration."
The Republicans have only a brief pro forma session today; the threat from Hurricane Isaac forced a postponement of real business until Tuesday.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are expected to make the record setting federal debt a major part of their indictment against President Obama.
Obama says reducing the debt requires a balanced plan of budget cuts and higher taxes on the nation's wealthiest Americans. But the president says Republicans are blocking his efforts because of objections to any kind of tax increase, even on the nation's wealthiest people.