The old saying "time is money" is being given graphic meaning by a Pasadena-based company that recently began marketing a small clock-computer called the "Debtman."

The device is programmed to keep a running tabulation on the national debt, adding $7,927 each second to the running total. The company, o.s.f.a., is sending $1 of the $39.95 purchase price for each clock sold to the U.S. Treasury to be applied towards reducing the national debt.It's a noble idea whose time (pardon the pun) may have come. Unfortunately, sales of the clock won't have much impact on the national debt.

A more practical idea would be for company to encourage purchasers to send the device to their congressional delegation. Or at least mount large-scale models in the House and Senate where everybody could see the numbers clicking.

Who knows, a good healthy dose of "guilt" might have a stimulating impact on debt control legislation.

But, then, knowing how Congress operates, the device probably would be declared "sensitive" technological equipment in need of protection from international spy operations.

It would thus be classified and shipped off to some military installation for protection, allowing Congress to proceed with important matters such as raising the national debt ceiling in the coming months.