April 12th, 2012

Worried about the deficit?

If so, you can help Uncle Sam out.

I was doing my taxes, going over everything with a fine-toothed comb (and then some), when this stopped me in my tracks:

How Do You Make a Gift to Reduce Debt Held By the Public? If you wish to do so, make a check payable to “Bureau of the Public Debt.” You can send it to: Bureau of the Public Debt, Department G, P.O. Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188. Or you can enclose the check with you income tax return when you file. Do not add your gift to any tax you may owe…

TIP: You may be able to deduct this gift on your 2012 tax return.

I wonder how many of those they get a year. I tend to think of the whole 1040 as a gift to reduce the public debt, but I doubt any of it goes to that purpose at this point, although you could say it goes to keep the public debt from getting even larger than it’s already growing.

And somehow I don’t think that tax time is the right moment to touch on people’s spirit of government largesse.

12 Responses to “Worried about the deficit?”

  1. Tesh Says:

    My contribution to reducing the debt is to vote in people who can work at high levels to reduce it. I feel no nationalistic moral imperative to fix someone else’s bad decisions.

  2. physicsguy Says:

    Reminds me of how each year the college asks me to join in the faculty donation fund to support the school. What!? I’m supposed to start paying my own salary now??

  3. holmes Says:

    Warren Buffet must have missed that opportunity on his tax forms.

  4. T Says:

    Neo-neocon,

    This is the great “bunker buster” for those who advocate higher taxes. If one is convinced they should pay more, simply write a check and do so.

    In MA, I understand that state taxpayers have the option of choosing a lower legal (or higher voluntary) rate. I also understand that John Kerry, that proponent of higher taxes, has never opted for the higher state tax rate. I guess he’s been too busy trying to figure out where to dock his boat to avoid use tax.

  5. rickl Says:

    I’m feeling generous. Let’s see:

    Total debt held by the public: $10,886,106,101,181.97

    Assuming a total U.S. population of 313,351,785, my current share is $34,740.85.

    (ulp)

  6. Parker Says:

    “Warren Buffet must have missed that opportunity on his tax forms.”

    Don’t forget John Kerry, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, much of Hollywood and the music industry, and a horde of other limousine liberals.

    “Total debt held by the public: $10,886,106,101,181.97″

    You are a bit low there Rickl…. there are tens upon tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities coming due during the next 20 years unless the aging boomers are euthanized and removed from the social insecurity and medicare rolls.

    But no worries mate, Uncle Ben will gladly create money with a keystroke.

  7. effess Says:

    Reminded of Judge Learned Hand statement on the duty to pay ones taxes:

    “Anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

  8. T Says:

    ” . . . there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

    efess,

    I actually carry that one step further. If the govt is all-consuming and increasingly wasteful as it grows, I truly believe that it is every American’s patriotic duty to arrange their affairs so as to legally pay the least amount of tax.

    It is our duty to starve the beast and reign it in.

  9. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Giving extra money to the Feds is like giving cocaine to an addict. Less spending along with increased economic activity is the way forward – not higher taxes. They’ll get money beyond my legal tax owed when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

  10. Jan of MN Says:

    I have just learned that someone I know has written such a check. It breaks my heart because this person is definitely not rich, and is the kind of person who always wants to “do the right thing”.

  11. Mike Says:

    FYI –This is what Google brought up
    Looks like GSA could throw 2 parties in Las Vegas with the money given in 2011. :-)

    “So far this year, individuals have donated almost $2 million to a little-known Treasury fund to chip away miniscule pieces of the country’s crushing $14.3 trillion debt. That $2 million is about .0017 percent of the $2.1 billion the United States pays every day just on the interest of that debt.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/07/donors-give-nearly-2-million-to-reduce-public-debt/

  12. Dan Says:

    Back around 79-80, while stationed with the Army on an Air Base in Japan, my wife and I made a $50 contribution to the Bureau of the Public Debt to help with the (then) terrible deficit problem.

    They sent us a nice certificate thanking us for our contribution.

    The process and paperwork, shipping and handling probably cost more than the fifty bucks we sent.

    But the certificate was a beau geste.

    Dan.

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