Donations to Treasury Department to pay down U.S. debt are up -- a little

From October 2011 through April 2012, the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt reported it collected $5.8 million in voluntary payments from taxpayers earmarked solely for paying down the debt. That’s more than the $3.3 million collected during the entire 2011 fiscal year – which ran from October 2010 through September 2011.

In fact, the government has already collected more in the current fiscal year, which ends in September, than any other year except for 1994 and 1995, when Democrats and Republicans were also at war over the government’s budget.

The influx so far this year is primarily due to “three pretty big estate gifts – one in particular was really large,” said McKayla Braden, director of public and legislative affairs staff at the Bureau of Public Debt.