‘Dusty’ money should be used elsewhere

Do you have $15.4 billion socked away for a rainy day? We didn’t think so. But your government does, and the bureaucrats, backed by liberal lawmakers, don’t want to give it up.

Analysts in President Donald Trump’s administration have found that amount of money locked up in inactive government accounts, some dating back to 2011. So Trump is doing the responsible thing: He is asking Congress for a “recission” bill that would allow the money to be taken out of the inactive accounts and used elsewhere.

Liberals in Congress have joined bureaucrats in agencies where the money has lain unspent to insist it cannot be touched. Why, $7 billion of the total is earmarked for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, they note. So it is. But $5.15 billion of that was appropriated in fiscal 2017, to reimburse states for CHIP spending. Another $1.865 billion is in the CHIP Contingency Fund. That seems like a lot of money to sit on “just in case.”

Another $252 million remains unspent from a 2015 campaign against Ebola. Half a billion more is in the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program — which has not had authority to actually provide loans since 2011. And the $4.3 billion in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program does not seem essential, in view of the fact that project has not made a loan since 2011.

If money is needed for the CHIP program or other uses, Congress surely can appropriate it. Meantime, the $15.4 billion ought to be taken out of the inactive accounts and put to some use other than merely gathering dust.

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