Sunday, July 13, 2014

The government made $106 billion in improper payments last year

A government watchdog agency said an estimated $106 billion in payments were made in error last year: meaning they were the wrong amount, went to the wrong person or lacked sufficient documentation. These payments include tax refunds, unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, and Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The improper payments could be even higher since not all agencies reported to the Government Accountability Office. The White House acknowledged that "the loss to the Federal Government is significant," but it pointed to a declining overall error rate: Just 3.5% from 5% in 2009. The Department of Agriculture's School Breakfast program, which provides free or reduced-price meals to needy students -- had the highest error rate in 2013, at 25%. Other programs with error rates above 15% include the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Small Business Administration's Disaster Assistance Loans program...more

"The Administration, working together with the Congress, has significantly reduced improper payments," Beth Cobert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said in her testimony. "We will continue to work closely with agencies to find the root causes of the improper payments." 

They have to say publicly they care about wasting taxpayer money, but I assure you they don't. Besides, the $106 billion in transfer payments waste is miniscule compared to the waste found in general government spending. The real "root cause" of waste is the fact these programs exist at all.

How do the DC Deep Thinkers propose to fix this problem?

"I remain concerned about our ability to continue to make progress in all of these areas in light of our ongoing difficult budget environment," IRS commissioner John Koskinen said in his testimony.   

No matter the problem, the answer is always the same:  give us more money.  To stop wasteful spending we must give them more money to spend.  Surely you see the logic in that.


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