With the economic stimulus package now starting to hit bank accounts nationwide, we got into a discussion at work today about the national debt and the fact that this rebate is increasing it substantially.
In a quest to learn more about our national debt, I stumbled on an extremely sobering website maintained by a gentleman named Ed Hall. But before I send you there, notice what happens if you press the F5 key on your keyboard or click the browser refresh button on his website.
That's right, it accumulates at approximately $30,000 per second, which ironically is the same amount that the web site says it would take each and every citizen of the United States to contribute if all 304 million of us were to help pay it off (although that includes everybody - children, retired and all). But if we did, we would have to hurry since that payoff number continues to rise every few minutes as well.
In other words, I could donate $30,000 right now, and in 1 second it would be eaten up and spent. Now that's encouraging.
Ed provides an excellent FAQ page here, with a pie chart showing who owns the debt, explanation of Debt vs Deficit, and detailed history of how it has accumulated over time. Here's one picture that is pretty clear.
And this site, Treasury Direct, provides facts and answers to other specific questions about the makeup of the national debt. You'll find a lot of serious information here, there's no question about it. But I was surprised to find that they actually have a sense of humor as well. I mean they are kidding when they list this question and answer. Right?
Man, those people crack me up!
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
So folks, it looks like we have a choice. We can either do nothing and let the national debt continue to increase at a rate of $30,000 per second, or we can make a donation. OR - to be more efficient, we can simply throw dollar bills into our backyard fire pits and roast marshmallows over them.
At least then they would provide some benefit.