April 25, 2013

I am bracing myself for a new round of “shock and horror” accompanied by Repo demands for yet another investigation of this administration.

An article in the STRIB today reported almost $1 million is spent by the US Government on “nothing”.

Apparently, when a grant is made, a banking account is established from which the recipient can draw funds.  And over the years, as grants expired or were cancelled, these bank accounts have not been cancelled.  So the banks continue to charge the government maintenance fees for empty inactive accounts; and the government continues to pay. 

This practice of paying bank fees on expired grant accounts has been described as “one of the oldest spending habits in Washington….”

From my perspective, rather than blaming this administration, kudos should go to them.  Last year, they became the first administration ever apparently to take up the battle to get this under control.  At the time, they had discovered this was costing $2.1 million annually spread over 28000 accounts. 

This past year, that has been REDUCED to a remaining 13,712 open accounts and yes, that means $890,000 of unneeded expenses as the headline broadcast this morning.

From my perspective, I say finding and closing 51% of the accounts at issue and yielding a dollar savings of 58%  is a step in the right direction and should be applauded – not subject to more foolish time- and money-wasting hearing in Congress! 

And it raises a question – one more time – what responsibility do our financial institutions have in this practice?  The bank bailout at the end of the Bush Administration was not an obligation of government, but a prudent thing to do in terms of the country.  Shouldn’t we expect that the least the banks could do in return is to flag the government accounts at the local bank level that have seen no activity for some-predetermined amount of time? 

I know that is foolish of me to expect.  After all, making money at ANY costs to the country is an accepted practice.

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