I wrote to my local paper to ask them to stop printing every day how much each citizen owes the government to pay our national debt. They haven't done anything about it. It just gets very discouraging to see that number every day, especially at breakfast time when you should be perking up for the day. I tell my wife, "Oh no, it's up to $53,319 today. Just yesterday it was only at $53,312. That's another $7 we each owe!" Every day, every day – what a way to start the day! I try to put a little aside each month to save up and pay my share, but it is hard.
Perhaps one of your readers may be able to answer these questions: should we save up and send in our share as a lump sum, or send it in month by month? I think paying in a lump sum would be even more discouraging. Imagine if I sent in my whole share, and I look at the paper the next day and the debt still hasn't gone down! In fact, the number went up again! Then I would start to wonder, did I do enough? Does my share start at zero and keep mounting up all over again - $7 for day 1, $14 for day 2, and so on? Who keeps the records so that they won't forget I paid my fair share at one point in time? Further, am I responsible for paying in more than my share to help people too poor pay down their share?
Maybe if everyone sent in a little bit each month, it would be better. What would be a reasonable amortization period to pay it down – 30 years? If everyone did this, the benefit would be that my newspaper could print a sort of reverse McDonald's table every day. Instead of seeing the number of billions and billions going up, we could see the national debt numbers going down! This is a more positive approach. Everyone would feel better.
I am also wondering about a guideline as to when someone can stop putting money away to pay their children's share? When they are 18 or 21 or when? And should I send it all in at that point, or little by little as well? But to whom? Could I get a receipt?
Another idea I had was this. When I was little, someone might give you a "US Government Savings Bond" as a birthday or graduation gift (not just anyone would give it to you, of course; usually a family member). Then, when it matured, you could cash it in for the money. Well, what if for special occasions we gave someone a "Saving the US Government Bond"? We could take the amount of money we were going to give that person and send it to the government instead. Then we could give that person a thank you note instead of a bond saying: "Thanks for helping to save our country by helping to pay down the government debt. In 10 years, your debt will not be $82,531, but only $82,506! Happy birthday!"
Another question I have: If you send in your share of the debt either periodically or in a lump sum, would that be tax deductible? Could I at least deduct the interest part of the debt? Who has the principle and interest tables?
Thank you for your interest in trying to help save our country and its citizens!