I recently stumbled upon the exact figures of US Debt to the Penny which as of a second ago indicated that public debt outstanding was $11,043,588,980,678.90. The latest monthly report is available here. I was very surprised to see we still had such debt given this prediction to have the debt paid off by now. The FAQ encourages us, the private citizens, to help pay off this debt with the following statement:
“How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it is a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:
Attn Dept G
Bureau Of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188″
I must say that this is not an April fools joke because research a bit further shows that people do make gifts to pay off the debt. However, before you make your contribution, please note this news story which indicates that the bailouts and the various expenditures could total $10.8 trillion.
Also please note that although we are all patriotic citizens who want to pay off this debt (and even if the whole world jumps in to help), this FED report says that there’s only about $8.3 trillion around (M3 is no longer published) and that money is created from around $2 trillion (soon to be $3 trillion) of reserves (interestingly we have only about $900 billion cash out there). If you know how the total debt can be paid off with all of the outstanding money, please help me understand this.
I also cannot figure out if the gifts to pay of the debt count as charitable donations for tax deduction purposes. 🙂
Americans are very smart people. I believe I have just understood why they choose to spend instead of saving.