"With tax day approaching, Americans across the country will be gathering to protest what some see as excessive government spending and taxation. I applaud people who engage in public action like this, but I believe there are more direct ways we can change the way our government spends. We can directly impact the amount of money our government has to work with a number of small and easy steps:
-Gift cards. Some state governments actually claim unused gift cards as abandoned property. More than $8 billion worth of gift cards will go unused in 2010. Consumers who do not use their gift cards can trade them on sites like www.upyourcard.com.
-IRS tax refunds. In 2008, the IRS was unable to send out over $123 million in refunds because of incorrect addresses. Ensuring correct addresses is an easy step, as is contacting the IRS. http://www.irs.gov/
-US Savings bonds. Unclaimed matured US Savings Bonds total $16 billion. Owners and family members of deceased owners can initiate a search to reclaim these bonds. Owners can use the Treasury Department’s Treasury Hunt. http://www.treasurydirect.gov/
These are all simple, legal steps that we can take to slowly reel overspending back in. Maybe it won’t make a huge dent, but it can be a start."
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