Sunday, October 10, 2010

Uncle Sugar Does It Again...!


Here is a story from the Houston Chronicle that leaves me shaking my head in disbelief!

How in the name of all that's good can something like this be allowed to happen? Even the dummies in government finance should be able to figure this out, don't you think?

When you read this type of blunder, it does nothing to bolster your faith in the spending practices of the "Boys on the Hill", I'm afraid!

72,000 stimulus payments went to dead people

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER © 2010 The Associated Press
Oct. 8, 2010, 12:53AM

WASHINGTON — More than 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each went to people who were either dead or in prison, a government investigator says in a new report.

The payments, which were part of last year's massive economic recovery package, were meant to increase consumer spending to help stimulate the economy.

But about $18 million went to nearly 72,000 people who were dead, according to the report by the Social Security Administration's inspector general. The report estimates that a little more than half of those payments were returned.

An additional $4.3 million went to more than 17,000 prison inmates, the report said. Most of the inmates, it turns out, were eligible to get the payments because they were newly incarcerated and had been receiving Social Security before they were locked up.

In all, the $250 payments were sent to about 52 million people who receive either Social Security or Supplemental Security Income, at a cost of about $13 billion. Other federal retirees also received the payments, but they were not part of the inspector general's review.

Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter said, "Inaccurate payments are unacceptable. Social Security's Recovery Act payments were 99.8 percent accurate and we quickly collected the majority of the inaccurate payments. Each year we make payments to a small number of deceased recipients usually because we have not yet received reports of their deaths."

The inspector general for the Social Security Administration has been performing an audit to make sure no checks went to ineligible recipients. The latest report was dated Sept. 24 but was just recently posted to the agency's website.

People were eligible for payments if they were getting benefits during any one of the three months before the law was passed in February 2009.

Dead people were ineligible to get the payments. But, the report said, there is no provision in the law to recover payments incorrectly sent to dead people.

"Based on the failure of the SSA to properly check its records, and Congress' failure to fully think through the provisions needed to govern these payments, SSA lost $22.3 million in American tax dollars," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. "These findings are yet another example of congressional stupidity and a lack of accountability."

The Social Security Administration said that despite tight deadlines, workers accurately processed more than 99.8 percent of the 52 million stimulus payments.

"We worked with Treasury, developed new processes, and began issuing (payments) about 30 days earlier than the legislatively mandated deadline," the agency said in a written response included in the inspector general's report. "This was a major accomplishment for our agency."

The inspector general's report said that if similar payments are authorized in the future, prison inmates should be ineligible and the government should be able to recover payments made to dead people.

The Social Security Administration agreed with the recommendations.

Really hard to believe that the bobble heads in government finance can't catch such a huge mistake as this! I mean, it shouldn't be that difficult! I would think the addresses alone would make it quite obvious that something wasn't right, wouldn't you?

C'mon, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and see if that helps us to understand the finance plan of the gover4nment! Probably not, but we can hope!

15 comments:

2 Tramps said...

Wow! Tramp 1 is an auditor and believe me, he finds that there is no end to stupid. It happens time and again - both the stupid stunts and the calculated ones.

HermitJim said...

Hey 2 Tramps...
You have to wonder just what kind of dog and pony show that finance office must be!

Makes you just marvel at their stupidity, doesn't it?

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Ben in Texas said...

Grrrrr,, What a crock of Bull Poopey!!!

Mechanic in Iliinois said...

All these dead people vote early and vote often. And you can bet they vote democrat. It's SOS and it will be until we get rid of him. Thanks for another great lesson.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

The words "stupid" and "government" are almost made for each other. Not only in the US, I have seen some absolutely asinine decisions made by govts.

AV

Momlady said...

Stupid should be painful. Unfortunately it's the taxpayers who feel the pain. Glad everything went okay at the VA.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I am going to stay out of this, I may just say something that I should keep to myself :-0

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
It's enough to make you angry, isn't it? It just never seems to ende!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Mechanic...
We certainly need to do something, don't we?

This is just insane! It really is!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!


Hey AV...
I'm afraid that you're right! Glad to know it's not only in the states where this type of thing happens!

I appreciate you coming by today!


Hey Momlady...
Glad to see you this morning! Right you are about the tax payer being the one to feel the pain!

Pretty easy to make this kind of screw up when you are spending someone else's money, I guess

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!


Hey Dizzy...
Hard to not say something about this, but like you say, it's best to not get started!

Sure makes you angry, though!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Ted said...

As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News. Now, media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests. But directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level of blatancy.

Arguably, this shouldn’t be surprising. Modern American conservatism is, in large part, a movement shaped by billionaires and their bank accounts, and assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal are an important part of the system. Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families

Bob Mc said...

And seniors on SS will not receive a COLA again in 2011.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101010/ap_on_bi_ge/us_social_security_no_cola

HermitJim said...

Hey Ted...
It's easy to support some of these folks, especially when you're spending other peoples' money!

It will come bak to haunt them at the polls, I think!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Bob...
You have to wonder why they say "This may hurt us in the elections". Gee, ya think?

I do think that "hurt" is putting it mildly, though!

Nothing the government does surprises me anymore!

Thanks for coming by today, my friend!

Catman said...

I can play dead. Where's my check?

HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...
I hear ya on that, buddy! Maybe we could even get away with it, considering how sloppy they are with book keeping!

Thanks for coming by today, C-man!

Mayberry said...

Nothing surprises me anymore...

HermitJim said...

Hey Mayberry...
I know what you mean, buddy! Same here!

Thanks for coming by today...