The national debt has hit a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time. One way to bring it down, according to a cheeky online petition, is to sell Montana to Canada for $1 trillion. The petition calls Montana “useless.” user Ian Hammond, who started the petition, suggested that one way to convince Canada to take Montana off our hands is “just tell them it has beavers or something.” It had received about 5,000 signatures by mid-afternoon Friday.

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Most seemed to take it in the spirit it was (probably) intended. Some Montanans even embraced the idea.

“I’m Montanan and hoping to join Canada without the moving costs,” user C.J. Williams wrote on the petition site. “Let’s do this. Please adopt us.”

Jonah Teasdale, who lives in Missoula, agreed and thinks most Montanans are “totally OK with this.”

“Let’s do it,” he wrote. “I’m fine with being out of this hellhole.”

Sybil Lemke, who lives in Gallatin Gateway, said that “as a Montanan, I would far and away rather be part of Canada than the U.S. right now.”

“Just thinking about universal healthcare makes me happy,” she wrote, noting, too, that Canada has recreational weed. “Let’s do this!”

Karen Cunnington, who lives in Kalispell, is all in, too.

“We would fit right into Canada because we’re awesome and friendly,” she wrote, adding “the United States is turning into a dump and the humanity here has faded away.”

But she was a little sore about the jab that Montana is useless and “we have nothing but beavers.” She noted that more than 3 million people visit Montana parks every year and that Montana has a low crime rate.

“Pretty much, us Montanans don’t really care for you guys either,” she wrote.

Darby Harris, another Missoula resident, pleaded with Canada to go along with the deal. “Montana *does* have beavers,” Harris wrote. “My dog even cornered one once. And we have bison. And First Nations peoples. And unfortunately the highest number of hate groups per capita. Please save us from ourselves, lovely Canadians!”

Some Canadians liked the idea, too. Léa Langelier, who lives in Calgary, Alberta, said she signed so she can “finally travel to Yellowstone National Park without requiring a passport.” And, on a more serious note, she said “too many families are split by this nonsense border.”

Shirley Dolan, who lives in Woodlawn, Ontario, said it’s a “cool idea,” but impractical.

“Canada has no money either,” Dolan wrote. “Our current prime minister, who promised in 2015 when he was elected, … to run a modest deficit but instead went on a spending spree. His 2015 promise was to have the debt paid down in four years. The new estimate is not until 2045. Sorry, we are broke.”

Therese Yglesias, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, wants to throw her state in the deal for a couple more trillion dollars.

“Canada’s already paying for the Gordie Howe bridge in Detroit and would likely take better care of the Great Lakes since Trump’s EPA is such a joke,” she wrote. “They could fine Trump Tower in Chicago for the rest of the debt since TT is chronically out of compliance with the Clean Water Act. Mostly because I’d no longer have to deal with rude border agents to visit my bestie in Kingsville, Ontario!”

Photo: A train rounds a bend while traveling across the landscape of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana. (AP Photo/David Goldman)