Recently, CNNMoney.com asked Americans if they would be interested in helping to pay down the national debt, and the answer seemed to be a resounding “No!”
However, there is indeed a $12 trillion debt to pay down, and Uncle Sam is looking for Americans to make tax-deductible donations to help reduce it. Will you help?
U.S. Debt Donations: Not a New Concept
This may be the first time you’ve heard of making a donation to pay down the U.S. debt, but this is actually a nearly 50-year-old concept. Since 1961, Americans have been donating millions under the “gift to reduce the public debt” program.
In fact, the program has seen some of its biggest contributions in the past three years. And so far in 2009, the program has seen $3.1 million in total contributions – the largest in at least 10 years (the biggest total contribution year prior to 2009 was in 1994 when $2.4 million was donated).
You’re Asking Me to Donate?
Of course, just because some people are donating doesn’t mean everyone will. To prove this theory, CNNMoney.com recently took a team to New York’s streets to see if anyone would take interest in donating to the fund. The answers the team received ranged from “They can use my tax dollars to do that and work it out,” to “Hell no.”
Not everyone is turned off by the idea of donating, however, which is probably why many people contribute regularly or even leave their estate to the fund when they die. If you are interested in donating, you could visit the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Dept and check the FAQ section. Or you could find information on page 91 of the IRS’ 2009 Instruction Booklet for Form 1040.
Just keep in mind that the amount donated each year is said by experts to not put a deep or lasting dent in the debt. In other ways, you may want to consider saving your own money for an uncertain future rather than help to pay down the national debt.
Would you give a donation to help pay down the U.S. Debt?