Ever wonder who contributes money to Uncle Sam? Last month this column detailed the four special accounts maintained by the Treasury Department to receive donations to the government, including one earmarked to reduce the $1.089 trillion national debt.
Patricia Sweet, a 45-year-old furniture saleswoman in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and mother of five, is one citizen outraged by the trillion-dollar figure.
"I was reading a Sunday paper," she recalls, "and everything I read constantly was negative, negative, negative about our government and the deficit . . . So I said to my husband, 'I wonder if we shouldn't just stick a $50 check in the mail to our government?'
"Well, I called the White House and it took some time . . . We're really sorry, they'd say, but there really is no place to send this, and I said, 'You're kidding! You mean I can't send my government $50?' "
A White House staffer finally told the Sweets about the special Treasury Department account, but by that time the balance in the Sweet family household account had slipped -- Mr. Sweet suffered a heart attack and his wife missed work to stay home. But she mailed a $10 check and vows to send more next payday. Further, she wrote Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and ''Dear Abby" to suggest they lead a crusade to reduce the deficit. No word yet as to whether the celebs feel as passionately about the cause as Patricia Sweet.