Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wait. HOW MANY Billions?

Holy s**t.

Improper payments by federal government top $100B
Tax credits for families that don't qualify. Medicare payments for treatments that might not be necessary. Unemployment benefits for people who are secretly working. Federal agencies reported making $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them.
"The amounts here are absolutely staggering," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. "It's over $100 billion each of the last five years. That's a staggering half a trillion dollars in improper payments."
One. Hundred. Billion. Dollars. A F**KING YEAR. We hear a lot about how much money the US spends on defense. The amount of money we OVERPAID is one-sixth the total defense budget. We WASTE one-sixth of the money people complain so much about - yet no one ever wants to force the GAO to hold a bake sale to have money to throw away.

It gets even better, though. Hide the breakables.
Federal agencies recovered more than $22 billion in overpayments last year, she [Beth Cobert, deputy director of the White House budget office] said.

"We have taken an aggressive approach to attacking waste, fraud and abuse within federal agencies, and we will continue to seek out new and innovative tools to help us in this fight," Cobert told the subcommittee.
Ah, yes. Your "aggressive" approach has brought the waste down from a high of $121 billion to its current $106 billion. You've managed to stop wasting $15 billion less, or somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. Forgive me if I don't exactly feel filled with confidence. Especially when you tell me that you recovered LESS THAN A QUARTER of the wasted money. You pissed away ONE SIXTH THE DEFENSE BUDGET on fraud and incompetence, were only able to recover one-fifth of that money, and you're PROUD of this?

We're often told that we need to devote more money to various causes, or global warming, or education, or [insert whatever other the pet social project of the month is]. I think this story should be brought up the next time the Social Warriors start talking about taking funding away from defense - you need money for your pet project? Work on cutting the fraud and waste, first. You'll find plenty of money to fund whatever you want.

While I'm dreaming, I'd like a pallet of .22 LR...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


ProudHillbilly said...

You do have a money tree in the front yard, don't you?

Ed said...

And people in hell want ice water.

Daniel in Brookline said...

I think Glenn Reynolds had the right idea. A 5% budget cut, across the board -- all Federal departments, all agencies, NO exceptions whatsoever for any reason. We've been tightening our belts for years, on their say-so, while they get rich from our taxes. Let them tighten THEIR belts for a while. If any government agency claims, in all seriousness, that they cannot survive on 95% of last year's budget, then that department should be abolished.

Then, once they've done that, next year another 5% cut. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The only problem, as Robert Heinlein once had a character say: "a fine idea, but who bells cat?"