tax-debtAs of June 2010, the US public debt is more than $13 trillion. US public debt is created when the government spends more than it gets back from tax revenues. To make up the difference, the government issues US Treasury Securities; and the public debt (sometimes called national debt) is the sum of all outstanding US Treasury Securities.

The US has always had public debt; with the exception of a short period of time under President Andrew Jackson when it was at zero, on January 8th, 1935. Soon after, the debt quickly grew into the millions. Wars contributed greatly to the public debt, as do social programs. In 1860, public debt was $65 million, but had reached $1 billion in 1863 and following the Civil War, $2.7 billion the next year. As the country paid for World War I, the debt grew steadily through the early 1920s, reaching about $22 billion. After World War II and a number of social programs created under Roosevelt and Truman presidencies, the debt grew to $260 billion.

The debt grew at about the same rate as inflation and reached $909 billion in 1980. During the Reagan and Bush presidencies between 1980 and 1992, public debt quintupled to $3 trillion. In 2010, the US public debt is a staggering $13 trillion.


Help Reduce US Public Debt with a Donation

If you’re concerned about the growth of the public debt and would like to do something to help, you can help the US government pay down the public debt by making donations. In exchange, you can get a tax deduction on your income taxes.

The Bureau of the Public Debt accepts gifts on behalf of the US Government toward the
reduction of public debt. They can accept gifts of money, if made on the condition it is to be used to reduce public debt; outstanding government obligation, made with the condition that the obligation is retired and the proceeds are used to reduce public debt; or intangible personal property given with the conditions that sales of the property are used to reduce public debt.

How to Make a Donation to Reduce the US Public Debt

Contributions you make toward the reduction of the US public debt is considered a charitable contribution and a deduction on the tax return for the year you make the donation. If filing taxes, you can check the box to send all or a portion of your tax refund to the government towards the public debt.

If you’d like to send a separate payment by check, you can send it with your tax return, or through the mail payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, to:

Bureau of the Public Debt Department G
PO Box 2188 Parkersburg,

WV 26106-2188

To make a contribution online by credit card, savings or checking account, visit