Could you spend $65m in five years?

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If I gave you $65 million dollars tomorrow but only on the condition you spent it within 5 years, would you take that deal?

We both already know the answer to that one. But would it surprise you if I told you that the government had failed to spend $65 million in earmarked spending for the Buffalo, NY area? Check out this video from local news station WIVB-CBS.

Some of this earmarked money has been around for even longer than 2005 – some of it dates back to 1991! That means it’s been 19 years some of this money has been sitting and not being spent.

A Congressman in the region, Rep. Brian Higgins, puts the blame on bureaucratic red tape. Rep. Higgins should know, having saved $11.8 million federal earmark from lapsing.

The irony of various levels of government preventing itself from spending its own (our own) money is not lost on the Congressman. It’s certainly not lost on Congress. A bill has passed in the House that would rescind unspent funding for certain earmarks after ten years.

You can check out what earmarks Rep. Higgins has been requesting using our Politiwidget or read more articles on what we’re calling “Disappearmarks“.

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