by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Suddenly, U.S. taxpayers don’t seem to be in such a giving mood anymore.
Taxpayers in recent years have voluntarily given the federal government a few million dollars a year to reduce the huge national debt. But at the start of fiscal year 2016, people seem to be keeping their money to themselves.
Whether people are feeling more tight in light of the stock market’s recent plunge, fewer people working or a combination of factors, voluntary donations to the IRS are at the lowest point they’ve been early in the fiscal year since 2005.
According to the Treasury Department, people have donated just short of $40,000 for debt reduction in the first two months of the fiscal year, October and November of 2015.
That’s a sharp reduction from the recent past. In the first two months of the last two fiscal years, people had already donated $200,000 to the IRS. In fiscal year 2013, $350,000 had already been donated in the same time period.
And in the year before that, nearly $1 million had been donated.