Festering Fees

In April, The Washington Post reported the federal government is due to spend $890,000 this year to safeguard … nothing. The amount is the total fees for maintaining more than 13,000 short-term bank accounts the government owns but which have no money in them and never will again. Closing the accounts is easier said than done, according to the watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste, because the accounts each housed separate government grants, and Congress has required that, before accounts are closed, the grants must be formally audited — which bureaucrats are rarely motivated to do, at least within the 180 days set by law (though there’s no penalty for missed deadlines).