When I stumbled upon www.crowdfundthedebt.com early this morning my initial thought was, "that's a sweet idea!" That was quickly followed by, "wait, there's no way this is real."
Turns out my cynical half was right. (The Daily Dot, at the end of a seemingly earnest article about the president's new plan, added that they reached out to Crowdtilt—the crowdfunding platform that published the ruse—to confirm it was in fact an April Fools joke. ("A representative for the company replied with a deadpan 'yep.'")
Still I wonder, could this actually work? There's been some serious talk about this solution before. This guy spent two years sending part of his earnings to the U.S. government and then in December called on the rest of the country to join him—individuals by donating $1 from each paycheck and businesses by donating $1 from major transactions. By the end of last year, average Americans had donated nearly $8 million to the Treasury to put toward the debt.
"America has always been on the cutting edge of technology," the spoof site says. "Crowdfunding is a revolutionary approach to the debt crisis."
So why not do it, for reals? Maybe because, as Bloomberg News social media director Jared Keller tweeted this afternoon, "I believe that's called 'taxation.'"
What about you? Would you contribute to a crowdfunding campaign to pay down the national debt?