Not sure what to give Uncle Sam this Christmas? How about a nice, fat check to help whittle away at the $7.6 trillion national debt?

The U.S. Treasury Department accepts gifts, payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt. Make a note in the memo section that it is a gift to reduce the debt held by the public.

Yes, really.


It’s all on the Treasury’s Web site, at the end of the list of frequently asked questions.

Which raises a few more questions. Do people really send in checks? How much and what reasons do they give for voluntarily paying more than just their taxes? And why are the checks directed to a post office box in West Virginia?

According to Treasury spokesman Kim Treat, people do send checks. In the last fiscal year they added up to a little over $3 million, which was the highest total since at least 1996.

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