Donations to Reduce Federal Debt Increasing

Wednesday, 21 Nov 2012 08:24 AM

By Michelle Smith

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While politicians continue to debate over who should sacrifice for the sake of the nation and how those sacrifices should be made, private donations to reduce federal debt are increasing.

Individual Americans pitched in nearly $8 million of their own money to help reduce national debt in fiscal year 2012, CNNMoney reported. Since 2009, the total annual average donations have been $3 million.

But even this year's hefty total of $7.7 million is barely a drop in the bucket, as it is only 0.000007 percent of the approximately $1.1 trillion deficit the United States ran in the latest fiscal year, according to CNNMoney.

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

The Treasury Department has forewarned of the possibility that the country will hit the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling by the end of the year.

Straying too close to the debt limit — not to mention hitting it — probably would lead to a second downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. In mid-2011, a bitter standoff over the issue led to the first credit revision.

The federal government could delay the risk of defaulting into early 2013 through "extraordinary measures" like temporarily suspending investment in federal worker pensions, CNNMoney reported.

However, many insist that the United States cannot continue to postpone developing real solutions. Americans have a constant reminder across the pond of where the path of debt can lead.

While admitting it would take some 10 to 15 years to reach a European-style debt crisis in the United States, Nasdaq OMX's CEO Robert Greifeld said “we’re on that train to Europe right now,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist at the Concord Coalition, a grassroots organization focused on eliminating federal budget deficits, told CNNMoney she believes that donations have increased because more people realize the dangers of a massive deficit.

“I think this is a small minority of people signaling to the world that their taxes should be higher," she said.

Since 1961, when the Bureau of Public Debt was created to be able to accept debt donations, a total of $85 million has poured into the bureau's coffers.

"It's not like this is a tremendous amount of money," Mckayla Braden, a spokeswoman for the Bureau, told CNNMoney. "It is a needle in the haystack."

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

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