President Obama has claimed that one way he'll pay for his new health-care program is by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in existing programs. Unfortunately for Hope and Change, tucked away in the sixth paragraph of a press release from the Office of Management and Budget is the admission that "improper payments" -- federal money paid to the wrong people, whether through fraud or error -- actually increased last year:
Now, because many of the targeted programs - such as Unemployment Insurance and Medicaid - are paying out more benefits as the economic downturn creates more demand for these benefits, the total number paid out in improper payments increased to $125 billion last fiscal year even though the overall error rate declined. This is an unfortunate result of the recession and of basic math: the more that is paid out, the more paid out in error even if the overall rate declines.
And so, despite the increased amount of misspent money, the decreased rate is hailed as "progress" by the administration. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is not persuaded: "It is unthinkable that we have come to accept having a bureaucracy that has institutionalized waste, fraud and abuse to the point where $125 billion in improper payments were made last year."
What your government is telling you, "Yes it's true, we trashed $125 Billion, but hey, we could have have blown almost $4 Billion more." Now that makes me feel much better, how about you?
The government reduced waste by 0.0016 but it's still wasting almost 5.5 cents out of every dollar.
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