Are you willing to donate to the national debt?

U.S. Tresury in Washington (Associated Press)

U.S. Treasury in Washington (Associated Press)

The nation’s $16 trillion-plus debt has some Americans so worried that they’ve donated nearly $8 million – outside of federal taxes -  to help pay it off.

Yes, it’s less than a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, which annually accepts such “gifts.” The donations have been going up since the 2008 federal fiscal year, when Americans donated $2.1 million. Last year, $3.2 million was donated, but this year the donations more than doubled to $7.7 million.

According to a CNN report, the first contribution to the national debt was in 1961 when an anonymous estate left Uncle Sam $20 million. A law was passed to accept the money and donations have trickled in ever since. The bureau says $85 million has been donated so far.

Here’s a link to the public debt just in case you want to keep track of it.

And just in case you’re in a giving mood, Uncle Sam wants you to know you can make checks payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt and please note that it’s “a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public.”

Are you in that much of a giving mood this holiday season? Should a check box be added to tax returns for such gifts?

121 comments Add your comment

Cecily

November 20th, 2012
12:41 pm

Giving money now would be like giving alcohol to a drunk. When the federal government finishes binging and straightens up their act, I would be all for donating to pay off the damages.

Betty Crocker

November 20th, 2012
12:44 pm

I didn’t cause it, so I’m not paying. Get the politicans to pay into it! You can’t fix something that is fatally flawed, no amoount of money will soothe the federal govt!

Cubfan

November 20th, 2012
12:45 pm

I just want to know what Granny Godzilla would do. SECOND!

papa rider

November 20th, 2012
12:51 pm

How much has Obama contributed? Not to the debt but the pay off. I’m not opposed to making a donation, but not untill the Congress, Senate and Mr. Obama fix the spending problem. Donating now would be like paying someone else’s credit card bill, when they refuse to quite abusing it.

AtlSteve

November 20th, 2012
12:52 pm

Warren Buffet indicated he could pay more. Has the IRS contacted him?

xxx

November 20th, 2012
12:59 pm

When everyone begins paying, I will consider reasonable suggestions. Until that time, I will do everything legally allowed to reduce my personal tax burden.

Captain Midnight

November 20th, 2012
12:59 pm

Why would anyone volunteer to donate money to the government for anything? For what? So Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama can hand out more food stamps? So the government can afford to keep picking up the tab for emergency room birthings of Anchor babies (future democratic votes)?
The governmet is going to get it all soon enough anyway, so why make it any easier?
This is a joke right?

RU4Real?

November 20th, 2012
12:59 pm

I already do, I PAY taxes.

NoMoreRawDeal

November 20th, 2012
1:01 pm

I will not be donating, as I am already forced to donate by the government via my taxes. It’s not my fault they are poor managers of the money once they’ve confiscated it from me.

may ellen

November 20th, 2012
1:09 pm

I agree it is like feeding an addiction….AND…I already pay taxes…ask someone that does not pay taxes!!! for a contribution.

stupid

November 20th, 2012
1:10 pm

Why would I volunteer more money than they take every other week ?

On My Way

November 20th, 2012
1:13 pm

Only if I can deduct it from my taxes.

Don't Tread

November 20th, 2012
1:19 pm

I already “donate” (using the term loosely) almost 50% of my money for taxes. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and the Hollywood liberal set can pony up their money to pay for their policies.

Blue

November 20th, 2012
1:25 pm

AtlSteve: I guess you don’t understand the word “donate” versus “force to pay more”. Try to keep up with the subject.

DwayneL

November 20th, 2012
1:26 pm

I pay taxes, let the freeloaders that pay no taxes donate!

zeke

November 20th, 2012
1:36 pm

Nobama

November 20th, 2012
1:37 pm

F no.

I pay. 47% doesn’t. Let them pay something $1, $10 $100 $1000 and we’ll talk.

Douglas

November 20th, 2012
1:42 pm

frankie

November 20th, 2012
1:44 pm

Why ask the question now…did you ask when Bush was giving away 4 trillion dollars plus to Wall Street…spending 1 billion dollars a day for 8 years on two wars…
They could have giving that money back to the citizens of the USA and we would have gone over and founs Bin Laden for him…

frankie

November 20th, 2012
1:48 pm

As soon as these companies stop paying these bonuses and then laying off there workers tomake up for their bonus….
As soon as congress works with the president to fix the mess they helped contribute too.
As soon as I get a bail out I will gladly contribute some extra money to the debt…..

Darren Tinkleschitt

November 20th, 2012
1:57 pm

“I already ‘donate’ (using the term loosely) almost 50% of my money for taxes.”

Fire your accountant.

Rational1

November 20th, 2012
2:01 pm

Folks, stop complaining so much. If you decide to donate, that is your civic duty, which benefits us in the long run. If you choose not to, then that is your option. We are in this scenario together and we must act like caring, positive-minded adults to get out of this matter. Stop being a cancer to this country and be grateful, no matter who is in the Office of the President! This is still a great country with many freedoms and I choose this nation, over any other nation, to live, work, play, and express my religion. May God bless us all and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Scooter

November 20th, 2012
2:02 pm

I believe enabling addicts only leads to more costly binges in the future. The addicts will always promise the world for a few bucks today, unfortunately the world is not theirs to give.

Carl

November 20th, 2012
2:04 pm

I would like to donate the salaries of all Hollywood actors, and every Democrat in elected positions along with President Obama’ salary since they all seemed deterimined to take my salary.

Roger

November 20th, 2012
2:04 pm

I did donate, $44,000 in 2009. Now I need that money since my factory closed and I lost my job. Would I donate again? NOT!

Jim

November 20th, 2012
2:04 pm

No, because the politicians have not learned what got us into this mess in the first place. If we bail them out now we are destined to make even bigger and more costly mistakes in the future. When the politicians restore individual rights then I will consider donating above and beyond.

On My Way

November 20th, 2012
2:08 pm

@ Carl 2:04 pm – “I would like to donate the salaries of all Hollywood actors, and every Democrat…” That includes Clint Eastwood and his chair. Also, since he’s the Republicans’ favorite family man, tax his 7 kids from 5 women (two he married).

Thogwummpy

November 20th, 2012
2:13 pm

I absolutely will NOT donate to help pay off the national debt!!!! We didn’t get a stunning $16 trillion in debt because of some myth suggesting that the rich aren’t paying enough. The problem is a massive parasite culture. And every time I stand behind someone in a store line that uses their EBT card to play the lottery, I seeth. Fact is, the tax takers massively out number the tax payers (this is the true class divide); and they have no intention of going to work when they don’t have to—-it’s a common human flaw. All they have to do is keep voting for Democrats to loot more and more. We’ve passed the tipping point; and the geometric demographic math makes it inevitable that even if 100% of income is taken from the taxpayers…the debt will grow. It is unsustainable; and no donation will modify the arithmetic. Sorry to the Saddam-apologist theorists here….but the debt is overwhelmingly a function of entitlement program spending.

cmac

November 20th, 2012
2:14 pm

HELL NO!!!! The dumbass politicians in Washington made the mess, make their sorry asses fix it. If they get more $, all they will do is spend it. After all, it’s not their money.

My grandfather had the best idea …. Put them all under the dome, blow it up and the next group that comes in may have the guts and fortitude to realize its of the people, by the people and for the people!

Tom Shoupe

November 20th, 2012
2:16 pm

Never. Our elected officials abuse taxpayers money while taking money for their personal benefit from Special Interest Groups. In addition, and example of waste is Hillary Clinton telling a foreign country they will receive 2 billion dollars. They have already received 200 billion dollars. How can they just give away money they do not have. The other problem when our country gives foreign aide we have no method of accountability to insure the funds were used for the purpose intended.

Jason

November 20th, 2012
2:18 pm

Um, aren’t I being forced to already? Listen – I don’t even get worked up about having my taxes raised. The thing that irks me is A) we are still adding debt at $1.4T/year so any “donation” would just shave off a little deficit spending and B) I have no faith that my hard earned money won’t be just totally, completely wasted. Here’s a year of my son’s tuition – oh I see you spent it on Solyndra…

Libralee

November 20th, 2012
2:22 pm

I can see the government salivating when that money comes in, like a fox in a hen house! Oh my, what to spend it on????
Hurry, some ideas someone! When they get someone in the top of government that can operate this government with business sense then maybe donations would make a difference.

N2thaIzzo

November 20th, 2012
2:23 pm

I would if they would forgive my student loans in return…

crazygrocer

November 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

Not NO but HECK NO! Cleaned up comment!

Gus

November 20th, 2012
2:41 pm

Maybe Trump should donate that $5 million he has laying around to the cause…

Don't Tread

November 20th, 2012
2:42 pm

“Fire your accountant.”

Firing the accountant doesn’t help. However, firing a few 0bama supporters would help.

Carl

November 20th, 2012
2:47 pm

I’m sure Barry, Nancy and Harry will take care of this for all of us.

No$forGovernment

November 20th, 2012
2:55 pm

Enter your comments here

No$forGovernment

November 20th, 2012
2:57 pm

No, why would I? They waste money. Get rid of food stamps, all unemployment compensation, fire 25-30% of all federal employees and an immediate 20% reduction in all federal budgets. Then, maybe, we can talk.

GH

November 20th, 2012
2:58 pm

Dont worry folks, homeboy is going to take care of everything. Just let him finish jet setting around the globe first ! Until people vote the current House and Senate members out of office, place term limits on these offices and get a President that understands how business works nothing will ever change. Its only going to get worse.

BA

November 20th, 2012
3:01 pm

lexi

November 20th, 2012
3:03 pm

Two wars are not the principal reason for our massive debt. The largest item in the federal budget is means tested transfers–welfare–bought votes. This chestnut is tired for another reason: our Dear Leader himself decreed that the war in Afganistan was our true cause and he, not Bush, greatly increased our committment there. The screeching set might also remember that Osama himself had his command post in Afgsnistan-the invasion there was not random imperialism. And, not the least, defense is a core function of our government. Our government was not instituted as a mechanism for giving gifts to the many, at the expense of the few, and we had a constitution to constrain that temptation.

BigGTMike

November 20th, 2012
3:03 pm

It’s just as solid of charitable donation as some of these abominations masquerading as charities that people take deductions via donation currently. I support it!

Kenman

November 20th, 2012
3:03 pm

Yeah, sure. Hey, ask how much Warren Buffet has “donated” toward the debt, he who is so generous when it comes to what OTHERS should do!?

Pitching anything in that black hole is insanity, I don’t know of anytime in history when the national debt has ACTUALLY been paid down – remember, we are only paying the interest each year, and that it about to break us!

And, if anyone believes that any additional taxes Obama signs off on will go anywhere but additional spending is ignorant. And since Obama admin is borrowing $10 million per minute…

Pope UGA XXIII

November 20th, 2012
3:05 pm

While you’re at it, why don’t you start a fund to bring
Islamofascists from the 7th into the 19th century. You will
have about as much luck – zilch !
We could have a bake sale, but Michelle (Aunt Esther)
Obama sez cake and cookies isn’t good for us.
What a bunch of drooling fools our society of something
for nothing idiots has become.

Jay Dubu

November 20th, 2012
3:08 pm

I already do…It’s called income tax, which I have donated every single year of my working life.
How and what the funds were used for, were not part of my control.

Rodney Kent

November 20th, 2012
3:18 pm

Absolutely not. It would do no good, The government would take the money and give it to those who do not want to work, but wants to live on someone else’s back while they do nothing and spend the tax money on drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

It would be the most foolish suggestion ever made!

Jay Dubu

November 20th, 2012
3:19 pm

The US is not a business. To run the country like a business would be a huge mistake. Businesses look to generate a profit, and that profit must increase year over year.

How exactly would that work for a country?

I know some of you may think a non-profit business, but that’s what the country is run like now. You have Federal Agencies, that look to increase their budget every year, and make sure that they spend every last cent, be it on legitimate cost or not. They spend it to keep their budget from shirking.

The US Leaders spend too much money trying to police every other country on the globe.

True Talk

November 20th, 2012
3:22 pm

A 25% wealth tax should be applied annually to any trust fund valued at over $3 million. If more than one trust is in the name of anyone, 35% of all additional trust funds, regardless of their value.
A 25% wealth tax should be applied annually to any estate valued at over $3 million.
If anyone has assets in overseas accounts, they should be taxed at annually at 40% of their value.

These would be true taxes on the wealthy. But instead all we get is BS from the Democrats on taxing those with over $250K of income. Any one with half a brain knows wealth and assets are not
accumulated through income. But it sounds good to the ignorant fools who blindly support Obama.

GJ

November 20th, 2012
3:24 pm

I have been donating for 46 years. They continue to waste it.