It really does add up

It is sad BECAUSE it is true

It is one of the oddest spending habits in Washington: This year, the government will spend at least $890,000 on service fees for bank accounts that are empty. At last count, Uncle Sam has 13,712 such accounts with a balance of zero.

They are supposed to be closed. But nobody has done the paperwork yet.

So even as the sequester budget cuts have begun idling workers and frustrating travelers, the government is required to pay $65 per year, per account to keep them on the books.

In this time of austerity, the accounts are a reminder of something that makes austerity hard: expensive habits, built into the bureaucracy in times of plenty. The Obama administration has spent the past year trying to close these accounts, with only some success.

“If anyone had kept open a bank account with no money, and was getting a charge every month, they would do everything they could to close it,” said Thomas A. Schatz of the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste. But, he said, the government hasn’t shown the same kind of urgency with taxpayers’ money.

That is because they do not believe it is “the taxpayers’ money”. They believe that all money belongs to the government, and the government knows how to best use the money. I wouldn’t be surprised, if this story were to actually get some traction, if someone in the administration were to pop up and say that they’re helping keep bank employees jobs by giving away this money as they are doing.

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One Response to It really does add up

  1. dustydog says:

    Generally, when you see a story like this, it means slush funds. Chances are those accounts have millions of dollars moving around, but the balance is reported as zero to whoever.

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