“Whether we like it or not, the American wage earner and the American housewife are a lot better economists than most economists care to admit. They know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
Gerald R. Ford, August 12, 1974.
Forty years later, a woman from Plainfield, Illinois, Kelly Alsip, is proving that Ford was a wise sage in regards to the acumen of the average American in regards to federal spending.
The Chicago Tribune’s Jon Yates writes a consumer affairs column, What’s Your Problem, that attempts to solve purchasers’ issues, things along the lines of “I got in a car accident and my insurer won’t pay my claim.”
Two years ago Kelly Alsip accidently made a $500 federal student loan payment–but she had already completely paid off that debt. Alsip promptly called the US Department of Education–and six weeks later she received a refund from the Treasury Department.
But last month out-of-the-blue Alsip received another $500 Treasury Department check. She suspects that it was a second refund from her 2012 error. Alsip tried to get an answer as to why she received that check, ignoring advice from her friends to just simply cash it.
And not surprisingly, she got nowhere, so she emailed the Trib’s Yates.
The Problem Solver called a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education, who said she has no idea why Alsip received the check and her agency would have no way to find out. The spokeswoman suggested Alsip call the department’s National Payment Center or the Direct Loans Service Center.
Alsip tried both. She gave up on the first number after waiting more than 10 minutes without getting connected to a customer service agent. The second number was no longer in service, she said.
The Problem Solver also called a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department. That spokesman said he, too, had no idea and directed Alsip to call the Treasury Department’s Fiscal Management Service office in Kansas City.
After making another round of calls, she finally got a human being on the phone. That person instructed her to call another person in a different office.
The telephone number she was given was a general number, so she used the dial-by-name directory to find that individual. But that person’s name was not listed and there was no operator available to speak with.
“And the mystery of the $500 check remains,” Yates added.
Yeah, $500 is not a lot of money to the federal government. But it’s a lot to me. And how many more errant $500 checks have been sent by our leviathan of a government? Or $5,000 checks?
Or even $5 million checks?
Does anyone know?
Of course not.
A new week has come with a new $350 goal to be made to pay DaMagnificent Seven and the less than magnificent mortgage.
Yesterday was a great imitation of Gave 6 of the 1976 world series. With less that two hours to go a single tip jar hitter made up the shortfall and gave us a full payweek in the last three.
It just goes to show you that the game isn’t over, until the last out is made.
The day has already started with a few hits of DaTipjar and if we can get another dozen tip jar hitter at $25 we can have the goal made at the beginning of the week rather than in the closing hours.
It will be much easier on my hairline and I don’t have all that much to spare.
Just click on DaTipJar below
Now there is another reason to kick in on a more permanent way
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