Sunday, November 29, 2015

Money for nothin' (and chicks for free?)

The federal government always finds way to waste tax dollars; this one is a doozy.

Money for nothin' (and chicks for free?)

The federal government pays service fees for 13,000-plus bank accounts with nothing in them, the Washington Post reports.
The federal government pays service fees for 13,000-plus bank accounts with nothing in them, the Washington Post reports.

Perhaps if you're of a certain age or a big fan of rock you recall the 1985 tune by the British band Dire Straits, "Money for Nothing."

Well, the song title comes to mind after reading a story in The Washington Post detailing yet another example of your tax dollars are work.

The story explains that one of the ways Washington wastes money is the federal government's lax attention to 13,000-plus bank accounts with nothing in them for which your tax dollars are used to pay service fees. Nice.

The Post says we're paying "at least" $890,000 this year to keep these empty accounts open and operational despite the fact they're empty.

The Obama administration argues it's working fast and furious (okay, maybe it didn't use THAT term) to close the accounts and save the dough, but the story suggests what we all suspect: when it comes to government, there is far less urgency to be thrifty because, after all, it's only our money.

As Thomas Schatz, of Citizens Against Government Waste, told The Post, "“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.”

Yeah, Thomas, that would be "anyone" actually responsible for managing money thay they earned.

But in Washington, well, I don't need to tell you.

Probably best not to think about it what with all the fights over taxes and spending. Maybe just relax and listen to a little music. Here, I'll get you started, then you can watch.

"That ain't workin, that's the way you do it. Money for nothin' and chicks for free."

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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