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May 9, 2013 / 74

Where’s Waldo? How about “Where’s the Government’s Money?”

A number of years ago I was attending college on the GI bill. I had been receiving monthly payments from the VA when they weren’t screwing them up.

I was supposed to receive a check from them every month.

The month after I dropped out of school, I received a benefit check from the VA. I knew I was no longer elegible to get the money. Enclosed with the check was a warning card that said if I cashed the check and wasn’t elegible for the benefits, I could be fined a huge amount (for me) and maybe even be sent to jail.

I had no intention of cashing the check – and to make certain that I would never cash the check, I wrote “VOID” across the face of it, and tore it in half. Then I put it in my VA file.

A couple of months later, I began to get letters from the VA telling me to send them the money back as I wasn’t elegible for it. I ignored them for a few months, then called them and told them I didn’t owe them squat.

They disagreed.

I finally told them that not only had I not cashed the check, the check was uncashable so it would never be cashed. (They wanted me to cash the check, even though it would be illegal for me to do so, and then send them the money.) I told them that I owed them nothing until I actually received money from them, and that had not and that would not ever happen.

Somewhere along the way they told me that they had no way of knowing whether a government check had been cashed or not.

I involved my congress critter who said there wasn’t anything he could do about it. (Typical then – typical now.)

They kept sending me nasty letters and began threatening me with legal action. On one occasion, they said all I had to do to make the whole situation go away was to mail them the destroyed check. They also said they wouldn’t not give me a receipt for it either. Like I’d just hand over my evidence that I owed them nothing? Do I look that dumb? Then they made me laugh by saying that if I didn’t send or bring them the check they’d send the FBI out to get it, I dared them to do that, and I told them that if they did send the FBI out, the agent had better bring a receipt book with him or he wasn’t getting the check either!

Eventually they pretty much went away.

Now to the point of this post – which is a question that needs an answer.

What happens to the money that the government has on deposit somewhere that they write checks on if the check is not cashed?

Nearly 40 years ago they told me that they didn’t have any way of telling if a check had been cashed or not. So where has that money been for 40 years? How many other checks that have been lost or destroyed have there been over the last 40 or 50 years?

If the money is in the Treasury, how do they account for all that unexplained money? If it’s on deposit in a bank, has the government been paying interest on loans while the banks pay nothing on these unknown government deposits?

Seems to me some explanation is required… from someone.

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One Comment

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  1. Anonymous / May 9 2013 07:24

    Michael, the government makes my head hurt.

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