Widow wills millions to help pay U.S. debt

In 1960, the late Mrs. W.L. Clayton reportedly left $25 million in her will to the U.S. government to help pay down the national debt.

The amount she left for this purpose may have been unusually large, but it turns out that leaving behind money to help pay off the national debt isn't unusual. The Associated Press reports that, every year, the U.S. government receives about $1 million in bequests to help with the national debt. And since 1961, it's received $100 million.

However, the AP also notes that all these bequests, though well-intentioned, are "pointless" and "essentially, useless". This isn't just because the amounts are like a drop in the ocean compared to the size of the national debt. It's because: "The donations are recorded on the receipts ledger of the federal government’s general fund. So, rather than actually paying down the national debt, these donations just reduce the amount of money our government will borrow."

Los Angeles Times - Jan 30, 1960

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 24, 2021
     Category: Government | Money

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