Debt

American Public Sends Hilarious and Sad $80 Million In Voluntary Donations to Help Pay Down $14 Trillion Debt

|

A sad story in today's Washington Post of soft-hearted citizens who have been sending a stream of pathetically tiny donations to the federal government since 1961 to help pay down the debt. Utterly futily, as it happens:

A stream of checks, cash and even gold coins is pouring into a post office box in West Virginia where, for years, people who want to help pay down the national debt have been able to send gifts. 

"I love my country. I don't want it in debt like this. I don't want it having a financial crisis," said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month 

"The gifts go toward funding the federal government, not to pay off the debt," said Mckayla Braden, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of the Public Debt.

Reason.tv on debt ceiling debate malarkey:

NEXT: If at First You Don't Get a Prison Sentence, Try, Try Again

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “I love my country. I don’t want it in debt like this. I don’t want it having a financial crisis,” said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month

    “The gifts go toward funding the federal government, not to pay off the debt,” said Mckayla Braden, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of the Public Debt.

    Shorter Mckayla Braden:

    Your money gets spent, not saved.

    Or

    Found, pinched and spent.

  2. My snarkometer is incapable of dealing with something this inherently stupid.

    1. Just think: someone this bonecrushingly stupid was teaching children. Ponder that for a minute.

      1. I’d rather not. I think instead I shall submit an application to be one of Warty’s trolls…seems like that could be better for my mental health.

        1. If you become one of Warty’s trolls, you’ll be running with an amazingly stupid crowd. You might want to get a lobotomy first so that you fit in.

          1. you could just be as gay as pisarch

          2. Are you his mother or his lover?

          3. See? I try to be as dumb as the troll, and then he comes around and one-ups me. Jesus.

            1. You and Episiarch seem to be interchangeable. You answer each others’ comments like an old married couple. It’s cute in a sad way.

            2. Holy shit…competition is fierce for this position. My stupid foo is not up to snuff, i should practice more.

            3. It was admirable of you to try, dude, but you’re setting your sights too low. You’ll just end up hurting yourself if you try to get stupider. It’s like a limbo contest, and the trolls are Hermes Conrad.

              “…and that’s as low as limbo sticks go!”

              1. Do. Not. Feed. The. Trolls.

        2. See what I mean? Better make it a severe beating and then a lobotomy.

          1. You know what we need around here is some internet oxpeckers to clean these parasitic trolls off of our comments.

            1. Why don’t you insist upon moderated comments like the adult sites have instead of whining like nasty little babies?

              1. Wart! Genitals! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

                +1 for “adult”. Delicious.

                1. Are you as gay as you write?

                2. I withdraw my application, I don’t stand a chance. Personally, I think these guys are doping.

                  he he Doping.

                  1. Cliche, I warned you. I mean, we are talking epic stupidity here, combined with passive aggressiveness, desperation for attention, and a pathetic envy of our banter here. You can’t match that. Ever. The pathetic envy is the gravy, though. I love that so much.

              2. There are no moderate commenters on H&R.

                1. We have a disease. Please help us.

              3. Who knew porn sites had mods? Seems like a “you appear to be typing with one hand” error message would take care of 90% of their job.

                1. Stop us before we comment again.

                2. Well, I think we have disproved Warty’s hypothesis that death metal deters trolls…but it does make for a nice afternoon break. I wonder how much I could make by inventing trollaway…at least bring back loneshithead and joe.

                  1. I didn’t know I had that hypothesis. But here, have a cover.

                    1. empirical assumption.

                    2. a pathetic envy of our banter here

                      We’re special, and our banter is the bestest!

                  2. t least bring back . . . joe

                    You shut your dirty mouth.

  3. But for Gardunia, a stay-at-home mom with four children, the math isn’t as important as the message her gifts sends to Washington.

    There is a cheaper way to send a message to Washington. It can be sent twice a year, every two, four and six years.

    1. You have to wonder what sort of bizarro-world we’re living in, when citizens feel a need to send a message to Washington…that they love them soooo much, that they will give up their own capital (in excess of what has already been stolen) as an offering to assuage the debt-pain of the State.

      1. Jewish peasants would actually pay the rail fare to get them to concentration camps.

        Ok, I Godwined. Sue me. Or better yet, make a gift to the U.S. Government in my name.

        1. “Mckayla, this is on behalf of Paul.”

          1. Excellent. We’ve had our eye on this new healthcare plan, so the more the better.

            1. How ya doin’?

        2. Jewish peasants would actually pay the rail fare to get them to concentration camps.

          Paying their Fair Share.

          Your imminent death doesn’t absolve you of your fiscal responsibility to The State.

  4. “I love my country. I don’t want it in debt like this. I don’t want it having a financial crisis,” said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month

    That’s as sad as a dead puppy on the road.

    1. Let me be clear.

      Jane Olive will be seated next to The First Lady at the next SOTU Address.

    2. Sad, my ass. That Ben Franklyn kept Pelosi’s office in fresh flowers for a good week.

      1. Yeah, chrysanthemums!

    3. That’s as sad as a dead puppy on the road.

      No, it’s as sad as an almost dead puppy on the road.

      1. If you’re driving down the road, and you see a mortally injured animal, do you stop and put it out of its misery?

        Thank god, I’ve never seen an injured dog by the road. But I have seen deer. And yes, I did.

        1. Depends if I have a gun on me. I did it for a groundhog once.

          Poor Little Critter On The Road

          1. Not groundhog taking his buddy to the groundhog hospital!

            1. Not that one, fortunately. That guy was a trooper.

        2. Are you saying what I think you’re saying?

        3. Funny story: about 13 years ago I had spent an entire day and half a night at a mechanic friends house fixing up (new pipes, headers, tune-up, heater core [don’t ask]) my ’88 GT. As I was driving home at aprox 2:30am through the river bottoms rd, kind of foggy, I spied several deer to the left of the road. Stupid MO white-tail deer. I slow down to about 15 MPH (I am not exaggerating one bit). We eye each other, I decide to slow down further. When the dear does not move I take this as a sign for me to continue. As I am pulling up parallel to the deer the front one bolts…two choices, GO and hope he hits door or STOP and hope he doesn’t come all the way over the hood. I chose option 1. Deer hit my DS door and took off the mirror, causing damage from the front quarter to the back. YES ALL THREE FUCKING PANELS!

          Did I stop to see if the deer needed putting out of misery? NO, I stopped and chased that fucker about 5 yards because I was going to beat the living shit out of it.

          I was broadsided by a deer. I never did fix the damage. I still enjoy eating white-tail every chance I get.

          1. I still enjoy eating white-tail every chance I get.

            As do I.

            1. Serious LOL!!!

    4. Old people should send their full social security checks to Reason and Cato as donations.

  5. “The gifts go toward funding the federal government, not to pay off the debt,” said Mckayla Braden, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of the Public Debt.

    WTF?! OK, THAT is the final straw!!

  6. “I love my country. I don’t want it in debt like this. I don’t want it having a financial crisis,” said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month

    >Jane Olive, a retired teacher
    >a retired teacher
    >teacher

    Where did that money initially come from again?

    1. >Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas
      >a retired teacher in Las Vegas
      >Las Vegas

      Gaming.

      1. Or maybe hooking. You know how those poor teachers are underpaid, and after all, it’s for the chillun.

  7. So these people donate money to a PO Box wanting it to be dedicated for debt relief, but their donations are thrown into general federal spending instead?

    If any other entity — for-profit or charitable — solicited contributions for one specific purpose and used it for something else, it would be called fraud.

    How about a class action to recoup the moneys donated under false pretenses?

    1. Go ahead. I’ll wait here.

    2. So these people donate money to a PO Box wanting it to be dedicated for debt relief, but their donations are thrown into general federal spending instead?

      Sort of like Social Security payroll deductions.

    3. Solicited? These guys are just morons.

  8. “I love my country. I don’t want it in debt like this. I don’t want it having a financial crisis,” said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month

    “Yes, I’ll vote for the same corrupt, incompetent and power-mad bastards who got us in the hole to begin with, why?”

    1. I will bet you the hundo she sent to DC she voted for that nice Mr. Reid. Any takers?

      1. I’ll take that hundo.

    2. I usually just vote a straight ticket.

  9. It is stupid people like this who enable politicians to ruin the economy and peoples lives in the first place.

  10. “I love my country. I don’t want it in debt like this. I don’t want it having a financial crisis,” said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month

    Who’d ya vote for, Jane?

    1. Why, Joshua Corning, of course!

  11. Congress established the gift-giving program in 1961 so that the Treasury could accept $20 million from a wealthy Texan named Susan Vaughn Clayton, who dedicated the money “to my beloved country” when she died in 1960, according to her granddaughter, Burdine Clayton Johnson…

    …who then dug up Granny Suzy and beat her corpse to pulp with a baseball bat.

    1. Sounds like kind of an excitable girl.

      1. Granny was incredibly excitable, and too fucking impulsive for her own good.

    2. Do they really not know that Federal gov’t does not equal country?

      1. Nope. We’re on the cutting edge of not being a total retard here at Reason, I’m sorry to say.

  12. You would think with a sucker being born every minute that there’d be enough suckers around to fund the entitlement state.

    1. That’s what I keep trying to tell you!

      ** ducks **

  13. And by a bizarre coincidence, it has cost the federal government $80 million to operate that post office box in West Virginia since 1961.

    1. The have a Bureau of the Public Debt. A fucking Bureau, for a job that could be handled by a couple clerks.

  14. I’d be willing to contribute some semen.

    1. I think that would just give them ideas.

    2. I’ll take it!

  15. Honestly, this kind of cute, like when little kids do teddy bear hospitals.

    1. and letters to Santa. Awwwwwwwwwwww

  16. I like eating peas.

    I just don’t like cooking them.

    Well that is not true either…I just don’t like having the extra pot to clean.

  17. These people are real patriots, how much have you people given to help out the country ?

    1. Well said, my friend.

    2. more like real patsies.

    3. A lot more than I really wanted to.

    4. Re: Tony,

      These people are real patriots, how much have you people given to help out the country?

      “The country”?

      You mean bailing out the government is the same as “helping the country”?

      I thought their actions were more like throwing money into a burning pit, but it’s quite quaint that you believe it helps “the country.”

      1. Ou’reyay eedingfay ethay olltray.

      2. My father worked two jobs so he’d have money to put in the money hole, and he never complained!

    5. Several thousand, annually, directly confiscated by my employer on the behalf of the federal government of the United States.

      It’s hard to feel affection for your mugger.

    6. I actually sent in a $75 check to the BPD, purely symbolically, and I was under no illusion as to what it would be used for. Posted it on facebook and everything.

    7. Something something last refuge of a scoundrel.

  18. I’m going to send you nice folks some miracle spring water to heal your suffering. Just send in a check for $25 to Popoff Ministries, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. After you try the miracle water. Send in another check for $25, this time sprinkling my dead sea salt packet on the check.

    Remember, it’s the obedience to the prophet of God that heals you.

  19. It’s nice to see some people that actually care about this country, unlike 95% of the commenters here. You money-grubbing libertarians talk a good game, but I don’t see you doing anything to help. Seriously, put up or shut up!

    1. C+. Fun, but not believable.

      1. They need to try harder. The effort just isn’t there.

      2. C+ is probably higher than any grade you’d ever get from patriot teacher Jane Olive. She’s probably on food stamps, but did that stop her from giving something back to the community? No!

        1. Sounds more like to me that she’s taking more than she gave.

        2. Okay, fine, I’ll bump you to a B-

        3. The tone is still a bit too jokey. A little refinement could turn this character into an A+ troll, though. I mean that.

        4. Olive is a fool. She blew money she could have spent on her own family; she might as well have thrown it into the garbage disposal.

          1. she might as well have thrown it into the garbage disposal.

            Hey now, investing in a quality garbage disposal is a wise move….oh, that’s not what you meant. *slinks off*

    2. We help by not participating in activities like wars, corporate subsidies, and massive entitlement programs that create debt crises in the first place.

      Also by not voting.

      1. And by commenting. A lot!

      2. We help by not participating in activities like wars, corporate subsidies

        I was reading your blog and I found, by way of a link from your site, that massive corporate subsidies are supported by libertarians.

        1. “Lusciously libertarian” is a lipstick you can put on any pig in order to turn people against it.

    3. You money-grubbing libertarians talk a good game, but I don’t see you doing anything to help.

      Sad sacks in this story: Sending money to buy more shovels.

      Libertarians: Insisting politicians stop digging the hole deeper.

  20. I hope Washington fucking burns to the ground, I truly do. That derelict, corrupt shithole of a cesspool of a laughable excuse of an extremely laughable excuse of a city isn’t worth the a single fucking dollar. Of fiat money.

    1. Baby holding his breath again?
      Look at him turn blue. Funny baby!

      1. How is RPA holding his breath? Holding your breath is a way for child to gain sympathy by hurting himself. RPA is doing no such thing. Washington — that is to say, the horrible children we routinely send to Washington to represent us — is a destructive little monster dousing the house in gasoline so as to burn the house to the ground, incinerating itself along with mommy and daddy in the process.

  21. I agree that sending the government more money is like injecting your heroin-addict friend with more heroin, but at least the motives are more dumb than evil. But the fact that people are sending money for debt reduction, but the government is using it for whatever the hell it wants speaks volumes about how fucked up our government really is. Granted, that’s kind of what’s happening, anyway, but it just seems extra venal to me.

    1. If you’re dumb enough to send more of your money to the scum who are blowing it faster than Warty chasing down a schoolgirl, well, you deserve to get treated venally, because you are stupider than our trolls, and that’s saying something.

      Would you have any pity for some retard who sent Pat Robertson all their money?

      1. Superior much? What are you compensating for?

        Please don’t feed the trolls.

      2. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bother sending gifts! All that hassle is unnecessary, since the great folks over at the Internal Revenue Service can come to YOU, at your place! No travel expenses! Now also with a little more thuggery!

        1. Does this Bureau of the Public Debt accept donations in the forms of ticking-clock explosive devices? Not that I would ever waste any of my hard effort on sending them that way*, but I would definitely empathize with anyone that does.

      3. The Jacket informed us that he intentionally overpays taxes during his appearance on Maher.

        He cites it as insurance against molestation by the tax police.

        Just sayin’…..

        1. As I recall he said he didn’t take all his deductions.

          Depending on how you interpret this, I don’t either. In my case, I define that as I don’t play it close to the razor’s edge on everything I probably could take. When it comes to my taxes, I don’t live by the “If you don’t occasionally get called for clipping, you’re not playing hard enough” philosophy.

          1. Same here. I don’t want any second guessing after I file.

      4. Sure. Why not? People are dumb, by and large, and do silly things. Some woman being idiotic enough to throw money at the government voluntarily is hardly the same as the people who are taking her money. She’s not hurting anyone. See, she’s not evil. They are.

    2. What I wanna know… is that gift to the government tax deductable?

      1. I’ve checked.

        It’s not.

        1. Fuck!

  22. ….send in the clowns….. Oh, wait, already have plenty of clowns about.

  23. what did she think $100 was going to do? Pay the interest on the debt for a nano-second or redce the debt by .0000000000000000000000000001 percent?

  24. Really though, is there any difference between paying off the debt and getting spent? Isn’t $100 donated $100 less that the government has to go into debt? Unless they go over and above even more for every donation they receive.

  25. “The full consequences of a default, or even the serious prospect of a default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The nation can ill afford to allow such a result.” -Ronald Reagan

    Suck it, you anti-American dregs of society!

    1. Really, you should just stop before you embarrass yourself further. Such a weak effort. F.

      1. Do. Not. Feed. The. Trolls.

    2. I know, and yet Democrats won’t budge on spending one little bit. I guess they don’t really care about the health of our economy.

  26. You know what is truly pathetic – these people might just as well have donated their money directly into the pockets of the too big to fail billionaires. Not only are people to deluded to recognize how they are being screwed by their owners, they actually actively participate in the screwing. They are bending over with their pants down and handing out the KY and saying thank you for the opportunity. We are so owned it is pathetic. Stefan Molyneux has this so pegged. We are the cattle and our owners are the farmers.

  27. My solution would be to repeat the 2000 budget; see
    http://fatherbrain.blogspot.co…..theft.html

  28. Also, check out the Treasury Direct for Kids site: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/kids/art/art.htm

    The mascot is a pig.

    Quote: Selling Treasury securities is one way the U.S. Government raises the money it needs to provide services and help pay the interest on the national debt.

    You mean we’re borrowing money to pay our loans?!!

    1. As bad as you were, ol’buddy, they are so, so much worse.

  29. It is sad. But not as sad as watching you guys go on and on about how the money will just go into the general fund to be wasted.

    The truth (since 1971):

    1) Taxes do not raise revenue for the government to spend.

    2) Taxes serve only one (financial) purpose, to regulate aggregate demand, and thus moderate inflation.

    3) When taxes are paid in cash, the payer is issued a receipt, a credit is made in an electronic ledger somewhere, and the cash is shredded.

    First, government spends. It then “borrows” to control the rate of interest, and taxes in order to dampen aggregate demand.

    These people are good people, but they are literally ignoramuses – no worse than most in government, of course, who don’t understand what I’ve just stated (Bernanke understands it, based on his testimony.) They are taking symbols of their own past productive effort, and sending it in to the government to be destroyed (since the federal government is in no way revenue constrained, and does not need tax collections to spend money, which it creates out of thin air). Very sad, especially now since inflation is such a remote threat, deflation being the greater risk (which is why conservatives and libertarians rightly argue that raising taxes now would be harmful to the economy).

    1. you’re right except for the fact that deflation is not a ‘risk’. In that it might not ultimately have bad consequences.

    2. If but for the Greeks being tied to the euro, they could have avoided their debt crises altogether, right Draco?

      And, hey, where has my favorite post-modern monetary theorist been these last few weeks?

  30. Jamie Oliver is a twat with an annoying mockney accent. Also, he’s not a retired school teacher but a celebrity chef.

    Fact-checkers WaPo, what’s up with your fact-checkers?

  31. Here you can choose more new products, enjoy more discounts, so you get favorite products while saving money.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.