Just Great: Empty Government Buildings Costing Us Almost $2 Billion A Year

Your tax dollars at work.

Government estimates suggest there may be 77,000 empty or underutilized buildings across the country. Taxpayers own them, and even vacant, they're expensive. The Office of Management and Budget believes these buildings could be costing taxpayers $1.7 billion a year.

That's because someone has to mow the lawns, keep the pipes from freezing, maintain security fences, pay for some basic power — even when the buildings are just sitting empty.

"To see a building that's 28,000 square feet, just boarded up three stories — it's really a shame not to have it ... put to a use that would be of benefit to taxpayers and citizens as a whole," Wise says.

We smaller government types are generally ecstatic when the federal behemoth stops using anything. Bureaucracies are only good at one thing though: hemorrhaging cash. The federal government is an institutional idiot savant when it comes to wasteful spending. If there is nothing to waste money on, it will make something up. If there is no more money to waste, it will whine that it needs more tax revenue.

Even while its sitting on some choice real estate.