Dear US Taxpayer:
The Bush administration has succeeded in creating a tax refund, called an "Immediate Tax Relief". Many people will receive checks between July 23 and September 24, 2001. Since the US still has a large debt, we believe that:It is fiscally irresponsible to return funds from the US Treasury before the debt is paid off.Since we don't know exactly what the future income of the US government will be, spending the money now risks deepening the debt at a moment when we could be eliminating it. Paying off the debt now would also allow a permanent tax reduction in the future.
If you need the money, perhaps you could use it to pay down your own debts. If you don't need the money, please join us in refusing to accept the tax refund by directing the money toward paying down the debt.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
- Isn't it only a "drop in the bucket"? If so, then please send the money to me! By the same principle, your vote counts, doesn't it?
- Isn't this money that belonged to me in the first place? Of course it was ours in the first place (before taxes), but each of us also own the US debt. Given that the US population is about 280 million and the debt is over $5.7 trillion, each of owes about $20,000.
- But I've already spent the money! There is no difference between a dollar and four quarters. In other words, money that you have does not have a use attached to it. You get to decide the use. You can still send a check to pay down the debt even if you spent money on some unrelated other item.
How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
Here's how, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/:
Please follow these important steps to make a contribution to reduce the debt.(quoted as of 2001 July 27)
- Make check payable to the "Bureau of the Public Debt"
- In the memo section of the check, make sure you write "Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public "
- Mail check to -
ATTN DEPT G
BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT
P O BOX 2188
PARKERSBURG, WV 26106-2188
According to an email I got from the IRS:
If you wish to reduce the public debt, you can cash the advanced tax relief refund and send a separate check. Make it payable to: Bureau of the Public Debt and mail to the address: Bureau of the Public Debt Department G Washington,DC. 20239-0601 ... In addition, you may be able to deduct this gift on your next tax return if you itemize your deductions. Do not add your gift to any tax you may owe. If you owe tax, you would make a separate check for the amount due payable to: United States Treasury
Here's how, according to the US Treasury:
quoted as of 2001 July 27
Generally, the Treasury Department believes that individuals fulfill their financial obligation to this country by complying with the tax laws. Any extra measure a citizen wishes to contribute is purely voluntary.
The Secretary of the Treasury already has statutory authority to receive gifts for the reduction of the public debt. There is a Treasury account called "Gifts for Reduction of the Public Debt." Established by Public Law 87-58 in 1961, it provides a way for individuals to make voluntary donations for debt reduction.
Persons who wish to contribute may send a letter to that effect enclosing their donation to the Bureau of the Public Debt, Department G, Washington, D.C. 20239-0601. Taxpayers may also make contributions by sending a separate check along with Federal income tax payments. In either case, individuals must make the check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt. Any donations are deductible from taxable income for the year of the donation, subject to any limitations on charitable contributions.
- Note 1: I was wondering about the validity of the first address, but the Treasury points to the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) on their contacts page
- Note 2: Of course it makes no sense to get a tax deduction because that just reduces the amount you contribute!
- Here is exactlywhat I did:
It worked! 11 days later I received a letter thanking me and confirming the amount. They also gave me Additional information about the applicable law.
- I deposited the check in my bank.
- I wrote a check for the same amount:
- payable to: Bureau of the Public Debt
- I wrote in the memo section: Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public
- I sent the check to:Bureau of the Public Debt
- Information about the "Immediate Tax Relief"
- IRS phone number: 1-800-829-4477
- IRS web page: http://www.irs.gov/ind_info/apinfo/index.html
- IRS information
- General IRS number: 1-800-829-1040
"Due to the extremely high call volume, only automated services are available."
- Internal Revenue Service: http://www.irs.gov
- Bureau of the Public Debt
- web page: http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/
- details about the debt
- about Gift Contributions to Reduce Debt Held by the Public
- How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
- Contact the Bureau of the Public Debt.
Bureau of the Public Debt
999 E Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20239
(address obtained at http://www.treas.gov/contacts.html)
- U.S. Treasury
- web page: http://www.treas.gov/
- about the debt
- I would like to make a donation to help pay off the national debt. How do I do it?
- Gross Federal Debt at the End of the Fiscal Year
End of Fiscal Year Gross Federal Debt 2000 (Estimate) $5,686,338 million 1999 $5,606,087 million 1998 $5,478,711 million
- What the Whitehouse says:
Am I missing something? Could someone please explain why this statement does not match the numbers from the U.S. Treasury?
"With the advent of surpluses, the United States has begun to make real progress in paying down its debt. During 1998-2000, debt held by the public fell from $3.8 trillion to $3.4 trillion-a $363 billion drop." (2001 August 7)
- The Law on Gifts to Reduce the Public Debt. When I got my confirmation, the manager of the Current Income and Transaction Accounting Branch wrote:
Department of the Treasury... August 10, 2001
Bureau of the Public Debt
200 Third Street
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188
Phone (304) 480-6592 FAX (304) 480-7960
"Thank you for your generous contribution to reduce the Public Debt. "Gifts to reduce the Public Debt are authorized by U.S.C. 3113.
This law authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to accept conditional gifts to the United States for the purpose of reducing the Public Debt. These donations are voluntary and no goods or services or other considerations are provided to donors. This letter acknowledges, in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rules, receipt of your gift of $300."
- http://uscode.house.gov/ US Code
- 31 USC Sec. 3113 To find the page, search for "gifts to reduce the public debt" at http://uscode.house.gov/usc.htm.
- Debt Clock and pointers to information about the debt.
- Reject The Rebate: petition and other options
- 2001 August 6: Senator Robert C. Byrd will be sending his $600 check back to the United States Treasury! New York Times. Web page: http://www.senate.gov/~byrd/, email: email@example.com.
- 2004 July 11:
Date Total Debt 09/28/2001 5,807,463,412,200.06 07/08/2004 7,262,737,835,501.71
- 2008 Jan 29. It's been a while, but someone wrote to me so I'm reviewing the page. Let's see. On last note, the US debt was about 7 billion. What's happened in these last 4 years of the Bush administratin? We are now at 9 billion. So Bush nearly doubled the US debt! The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It gives current data. Here is the graph:
Interpretation: by 2000 Clinton and Gore had managed to stop the rising debt, it was close to 5 billion. They had a plan to get the debt to zero by 2012. In 2001 Bush pushed for and got a war. The result is absolutely clear on the graph, the debt rises dramatically after 2001. Congress is again about to pass tax rebates. What will this do to the curve? It can only go up faster. What happens to a person who does not pay their debts? What happens to a country that does not pay its debts?
Tom Schneider's Home Page
origin: 2001 July 31
updated: version = 1.16 of taxrelief.html 2008 Jan 30