Guilt: Settling with Uncle Sam

Settling with Uncle Sam

One donation, for 44 cents, came from a woman who confessed to reusing two postage stamps. A gift of $2,000 came from an anonymous donor who wanted to clear his conscience with "the IRS and with God." The largest deposit -- $50,000 from a man who gave no reason for sending the money -- helped to set a new record for contributions to the Federal Government's "conscience fund," the account made up of donations from guilt-ridden citizens. In 1986 the fund tallied $380,929.49 -- greater than any year since the fund was established in 1811, when an anonymous donor sent $5.