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Americans Donated $3.1 Million Last Year to Pay Down Federal Debt
September 24, 2010 01:16 PM
UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU
Just how deep does American goodwill go?
Deep enough that some citizens actually donate—
—money to the federal government to help reduce our national debt.
New York Times
"Every few days, an envelope arrives, and a Treasury Department employee opens it. Inside, usually, is a check, often with a letter explaining why the sender wants to do his or her part to help reduce the federal debt of the United States.
Last year, the Bureau of the Public Debt recorded $3.1 million in gifts, more than has been usual since the government began accepting such donations in 1961.
It’s estimated that at the current rate of gifts, obliterating the $13.4 trillion we owe will only take a few million years.
But this isn’t about the money. No. This is about something higher, something loftier. Call it duty. Call it patriotism. Call it a mildly delusional financial messianic complex manifesting itself in pathological charity. Whatever it is, I want in.
So rather than just write about this program, I’m actually going to participate in it.
First step, heading over to
Next step, fill out the information (pictured below)
Enter amount: $1.00.
Enter credit card info.
And let the feeling of goodwill flood in!
Wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…
Hmm…that’s weird. I don’t feel anything.
Well at least I can expect to get a really nice note from the federal government thanking me for my contribution, right?
Let’s check the e-mail. Look! A letter! It reads:
THIS IS AN AUTOMATED MESSAGE. PLEASE DO NOT REPLY.
Your transaction has been successfully completed.
Application Name: Gifts to Reduce the Public Debt
Pay.gov Tracking ID: 251HVG08
Agency Tracking ID: 74140598281
That’s it? That’s it?!?!?!
Man…do I feel shafted.
Oh well. Truthfully, short of divine intervention, our federal debt will be around forever.
Which is probably why the donation program was invented by the same congressman who wrote the law requiring currency to bear the motto “In God We Trust.”
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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