Once upon a time, it was said the Pentagon paid $435 for a hammer. At least they got a hammer out of it.
Federal statutes state that even if a government program has ended and no longer being funded, it must maintain a bank account until that bank account is terminated.
No one in D.C. is doing the paperwork to officially terminate the accounts. Without the accounts being terminated, there’s still an annual maintenance fee which must be paid.
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 have nothing in them. At last count, Uncle Sam has 13,712 such accounts, each with a balance of zero.
These are supposed to be closed. But nobody has done the paperwork yet.
So even now — as the sequester budget cuts have begun idling workers and frustrating travelers — the government is still required to pay $65, per year, per account, to keep these empty accounts 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 some success.
But only some.
Yeah…the Obama administration is too busy playing games at the FAA and ignoring requests to prioritize spending during the Sequester. Little things like “saving the taxpayers money” get lost in the turf war.
If this were happening to anyone in the real world — getting charged monthly for an empty bank account — they would have closed it years ago. Only in government…
USDA Asks White House to Begin “Sugar for Ethanol” Program">USDA Asks White House to Begin “Sugar for Ethanol” Program
The crap-sandwich which was the 2008 Farm Bill (the only veto overturned of the GWB presidency and trumpeted by idiots like Steve Kagen and Tammy Baldwin) strikes again!
The White House will decide in coming weeks whether to attempt to blunt low prices in the U.S. sugar market by buying hundreds of thousands of tons of surplus sugar and selling it at a loss to ethanol makers.
If approved, it would be the first time the sugar-for-ethanol program, created in 2008 and known as the Feedstock Flexibility Program, has been put into operation.…
Large crops in the United States and Mexico have pushed New York futures prices below the trigger price for potential forfeiture by processors of sugar to the government.
The sugar is used as collateral on USDA price-guarantee loans.
Forfeitures could begin in July, with the expiration of USDA loans that guarantee growers will get at least 20.94 cents per lb for sugar. The remainder of the loans expire in September.
“We’re doing it because it’s the law,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Monday at the North American Agricultural Journalists meeting. The tonnage purchased “is still not decided,” he said.…
The 2008 farm law directs USDA to make surplus sugar available to ethanol makers, a provision penned in the early days of the biofuel boom with the goal of creating feedstocks in addition to corn.
So to sum it up, the USDA made a bunch of price-guarantee loans available to farmers if the price of sugar ever tanked. Well, the price is tanking because of market forces and so “to compensate for the loss” the excess sugar will be bought by the government (naturally) and then make the sugar — likely from corn — available to ethanol makers.
You got to love idiotic farm policy like this.
In the meantime, sugar beets and sugar cane will continued to be subsidized (at above market prices) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on an all-out jihad against “Big Sugar…” which is bought and paid for by Big Government.
Make up your frickin’ mind why don’t you?