... because the answer, as always, is the Government owns the money.
It seems that the United States government is facing a strange lawsuit in the coming months, over something which I would've thought had been a no-brainer. But first, a little bit of background is in order.
During World War II, the Federal government went on an unprecedented effort to sell war bonds to Americans. This brought uncounted billions of dollars into our Government's war coffers, and made it possible to win against the incredibly strong German and Japanese armies.
Bonds, by the way, are traditionally considered to be a near-term loan. The citizen "buys" the bond, loaning to the government an amount of money for a piece of paper. This paper's maturity date essentially says that the person buying the bond (or "making the loan") will be paid back their money after the bond "matures," usually plus a certain amount of interest, as a thank-you of sorts for the original loan.
What happens, though, when bond-holders take this paper instrument, squirrel it away in a safe, or filing cabinet, or bank vault, or under the floorboards of their home (which subsequently becomes abandoned), or in a barn, or wherever—and the bond is never cashed in?
The original money is still owed to the bondholder, according to the terms of the paper agreement, but for whatever reason, it has not been collected. And apparently, from World War II alone, we have billions of dollars wrapped up in this type of problem.
So what does an honest government do?
Does it maintain the fund in trust, perhaps using the interest generated in the trust fund to finance projects and programs that would benefit the largely-octogenarian holders of these bonds?
Or does it try to steal the money for whatever it wants to do?
Considering the national state of stupidity that we're in today, I'm sure the answer is obvious. The only question now becomes which corrupt kleptocratic government will be doing the stealing, and that, my friends, we'll have to find out when this story comes to a close.
Image above used under license.