Feds Plan 'Garage Sale' to Raise $22B

Sale of airwaves, unused properties eyed as deficit reduction measure
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2011 1:26 AM CDT
The buyer of Plum Island, off the northern shore of New York's Long Island, may need to invest in 'biohazard remediation.'   (AP Photo/USDA-ARS, File)

(Newser) – The federal government is going through its stuff looking for things it doesn't use much anymore and can sell off to raise some cash. A "garage sale" included in President Obama's deficit reduction plan could see the government selling off unused land, roads, vehicles, and even airwaves, the New York Times reports. The sale would raise an estimated $22 billion over the next ten years—not much by deficit standards, but unlike other options, the plan has bipartisan support.

Much of that $22 billion could come from the auction of airwaves now used for broadcast television, if Congress approves. Billions more could come from the sale of some of the government's million-plus properties, including one already being advertised: Plum Island, off the coast of Long Island. The 840-acre island has "sandy shoreline, beautiful views and a harbor," the government boasts, although the former home of the federal Animal Disease Center is likely to need some “biohazard remediation." (Read more federal deficit stories.)

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