That loose change in your pocket really adds up…for the government: The Transportation Security Administration collected $674,841.06 in quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies left behind by busy travelers at airport security in fiscal 2014.
In 2005, Congress allowed the TSA to put unclaimed money toward its security operations. The agency says it “makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left behind at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed.” That money is turned into the TSA’s financial office.
The amount collected has been climbing each year since 2010. The 2014 total is almost $37,000 more than the agency collected the previous year and nearly $300,000 more than was left behind in 2008. In all, over the past seven years travelers have gifted the TSA $3,557,538.39.
Yes, that’s $3.5 million in spare change the agency has added to its coffers courtesy of harried travelers.
Maybe the yearly total have been climbing because travelers are increasingly engrossed with their smartphones, or maybe it’s a sign that the economy has perked up a bit so they no longer care to scoop up those nickels and dimes. Maybe it’s just that getting through a TSA checkpoint is such a hassle that travelers are willing to donate a few coins to be done with the process several seconds sooner.
Whatever the reason, here are the 20 airports where travelers left behind the most spare change in 2014:
Top Reads from The Fiscal Times:
- It Just Got Even Cheaper to Travel Overseas
- How Many Agencies Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?
- The Government’s $125 Billion Slap in the Face to Taxpayers
From Gallup: “A record 25% of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a serious medical condition in the past year because of the cost, up from 19% a year ago and the highest in Gallup's trend. Another 8% said they or a family member put off treatment for a less serious condition, bringing the total percentage of households delaying care due to costs to 33%, tying the high from 2014.”
That’s how much the private debt collection program at the IRS collected in the 2019 fiscal year. In the black for the second year in a row, the program cleared nearly $148 million after commissions and administrative costs.
The controversial program, which empowers private firms to go after delinquent taxpayers, began in 2004 and ran for five years before the IRS ended it following a review. It was restarted in 2015 and ran at a loss for the next two years.
Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who played a central role in establishing the program, said Monday that the net proceeds are currently being used to hire 200 special compliance personnel at the IRS.
The federal budget deficit for October and November was $342 billion, up $36 billion or 12% from the same period last year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday. Revenues were up 3% while outlays rose by 6%, CBO said.
As expected, groups representing hospitals sued the Trump administration Wednesday to stop a new regulation would require them to make public the prices for services they negotiate with insurers. Claiming the rule “is unlawful, several times over,” the industry groups, which include the American Hospital Association, say the rule violates their First Amendment rights, among other issues.
"The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule," the suit says. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that hospitals “should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.”