(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Treasury Department website states that voluntary contributions to pay down the national debt in fiscal year 2012 reached a record amount of $7.7 million, which is 0.00005 percent of the total national debt of $16,309,738,056,362.44, or approximately $16.3 trillion.
In addition, in fiscal year 2012 -- Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012 -- the debt of the U.S. government climbed by a total of $1,275,901,078,828.74, or $1.3 trillion, according to the Treasury Department. That translates into about $3.5 billion per day, or $145,833,333.00 per hour, $2,430,555.00 per minute, and $40,509.00 per second.
Based on those numbers, the federal government spent the $7.7 million in voluntary contributions to pay down the national debt in approximately 3 minutes and 10 seconds.
In fiscal year 2012 the annual voluntary contributions totaled more than double from the previous year's total of $3,277,369.23, tallying up to $7,749,618.27.
Visitors to the agency’s treasurydirect.gov can access the “gift contributions” dating back to 1996 when Americans gave almost $2 million to pay down the public debt. On that website is a link allowing visitors to learn “how to make a contribution to reduce the debt.”
Visitors who click on the link will be directed to pay.gov where they can register and use a checking or savings account or credit card to contribute online.
Visitors are also provided with a mailing address, if they prefer to mail a check “payable to the Bureau of Public Debt.”
The website defines the debt held by the public:
“The Debt Held by the Public is all federal debt held by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, foreign governments, and other entities outside the United States Government less Federal Financing Bank securities,” the website states. “Types of securities held by the public include, but are not limited to, Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, TIPS, United States Savings Bonds, and State and Local Government Series securities.”
As of Nov. 27, 2012 the total public debt is $11,476,501,231,339.55 trillion.