Mystery Donor Pays Off $2.2M of National Debt

Record donation will cover the interest for a couple of minutes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2015 2:24 AM CST
Mystery Donor Pays Off $2.2M of National Debt
A screen depicting the current national debt of the United States is displayed behind Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A public-minded mystery donor paid off a lot more than their share of the national debt with a record $2.2 million donation in September. Treasury officials haven't released any details on the source of the donation, which brought public contributions toward the debt to a total of almost $3.9 million for the last fiscal year, according to official figures. Contributions to the Public Debt Reduction Fund trickle in throughout the year, USA Today reports, though they amount to just a drop in a bucket big enough for King Kong to bathe in: The debt now stands at more than $18.6 trillion, and Forbes estimates that the interest alone grows by around $1 million per minute.

The debt donors in the first six months of the year included five Republican members of Congress and three Democrats who gave a total of almost $56,000, USA Today notes. The biggest giver, Rep. Chris Gibson, a New York Republican, hands over $4,357.37 every month. "He donates his military pension, so he is not—to use the term we use in New York—double-dipping," his press secretary says. "It's cumbersome. He has no choice but to write a check and deliver it manually every month." (After the latest debt ceiling deal came into effect, the debt surged by a record-setting amount in a single day.)

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