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Fed Gov’t Sitting On $70B In Unspent Cash

From the Washington Times:

Federal gov’t sitting on $70 billion in unspent cash

By Stephen Dinan
June 7, 2012

The federal government has at least $70 billion that has languished for years in unspent accounts, never reaching the states, localities, businesses and taxpayers the money was designed to help, according to a new report by Sen. Tom Coburn.

Mr. Coburn, the Senate’s chief waste-watcher, said in many cases politicians and bureaucrats ignored money already in the pipeline and went out to try to corral more funding instead.

This year alone the government will carry more than $2 trillion in unspent money into 2013, and while much of that money is obligated to specific expenditures in future years, Mr. Coburn said about a third has not been, "meaning it is essentially money for nothing."

The $70 billion figure is money that’s been unspent for years, including $13 billion in road-building money that was earmarked to the wrong places, or for projects that states and localities no longer want to build.

In one case Mr. Coburn said $29 million was dedicated to a highway interchange in Newport News, Va., in 1998, but the state abandoned the project. The congressman who sponsored the earmark died in 2000, but the money remains unspent.

In another case Atlanta is still holding onto $2.7 million in funding that was allowed to be spent only on the 1996 Olympics.

"A dollar taken from the taxpayers left unspent is a dollar not needed by the government or a dollar that did not go to someone in need," Mr. Coburn said in a letter accompanying his report. "It represents a failure to budget wisely."

While that may well be true, this also hurts all of us by sucking more capital out of circulation, which hurts the economy in general. And, lest we forget, we are paying interest to China for this money.

Besides, remember all of Obama’s outrage about businesses supposedly ‘sitting on their cash’? Well, even if that is true, at least they have an excuse. There is no excuse for the government to be sitting on money like this.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 7th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Fed Gov’t Sitting On $70B In Unspent Cash”

  1. MZmaj7 says:

    As Milton Friedman said, “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”

    While the Feds sitting on any cash after collecting it from the taxpayer is worse than had they not collected it at all, I would rather them sit on the money already collected than spend it on whatever disastrous project or lavish salary they would have otherwise spent it on.

    Besides, hoarding money is not a bad thing, especially in an inflationary environment, because it has the opposite, deflationary, effect. By suppressing prices, taking money out of circulation actually *helps* the economy. (This holds as long as a supply of money adequate for economic activity remains, of course.)

    Given that the money has already been collected from the taxpayer, I believe this is the best government program in a long time.

  2. Astravogel says:

    Determine how many living voters there are
    and cut each one a share of that money.

  3. yadayada says:

    there is no $$$
    that $2 trillion is budgeted which means it’s only ‘promised’
    it’s mearly a number written on paper.
    they could (if they actually wanted to help the economy) simply put an X thru it and write off $2T of debt to china.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    I could use a billion. I promise to pay it back ….

  5. Mithrandir says:

    1. GLOBAL WARMING: how about you fix all the other problems you invented just so you could ride in on your white horse and fix it, BEFORE you start tackling another project.

    2. Is the federal government using its power PROTECTING your rights or ABUSING them?

    To see that the gov’t is so lazy or indifferent, that billions can be squirreled away when it could be used to benefit us all, is just another kick in the groin we have to endure from our incompetent masters.

  6. Anonymoose says:

    Give 700,000 people a $100,000 bailout to pay off their student loans and mortgages, that would be more effective.

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