(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) The federal government has lost almost $2.4 trillion (about $7,400 per person in the U.S.) in “improper payments” over the last two decades and this past year was no exception. The Biden administration wasted approximately $247 billion in taxpayer money in 2022 alone, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
“In fiscal year 2022, federal agencies made an estimated $247 billion in payment errors—either payments that should not have been made or that were made in the incorrect amount,” GAO said in its report. “Overpayments accounted for about $200 billion of the total. But the total doesn’t yet include estimates for certain risky programs, like the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”
The report —titled “Improper Payments: Fiscal Year 2022 Estimates and Opportunities for Improvement”— details that 18 federal agencies made the multi-billion-dollar error across 82 programs, primarily social and COVID-relief programs.
“Approximately 78 percent of this total (about $194 billion) was reported by five program areas: (1) Medicaid ($81 billion), (2) Medicare ($47 billion), (3) the Paycheck Protection Program ($29 billion), (4) Unemployment Insurance ($19 billion), and (5) Earned Income Tax Credit ($18 billion),” GAO found, warning that “the $247 billion total does not include estimates for certain risk-susceptible programs, such as the Department of Labor’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”
Conservatives called out the federal government in reaction to the scathing report.
“Over the last two decades, the U.S. has lost over $2 TRILLION in simple payment errors,” blasted Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., on Twitter. “Why allow Washington to spend unlimited amounts of your hard-earned money if they’re already wasting what they have??”
Over the last two decades, the U.S. has lost over $2 TRILLION in simple payment errors.
Why allow Washington to spend unlimited amounts of your hard-earned money if they’re already wasting what they have??
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) April 22, 2023
“The government has just lost, as if you dropped it on the sidewalk, trillions and trillions of dollars over the last few decades,” said Richard Stern, a budget and spending expert from the Heritage Foundation, according to CNBC. “That is money that was stolen from hardworking Americans to just simply get wasted.”
“As bad – and expensive – as these screw-ups are, they don’t include all the taxpayer cash the feds dump on bloated agencies, ridiculous grants and studies, empty buildings, unnecessary or duplicate programs, and the salaries of self-aggrandizing bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci,” said Brittany M. Hughes, host of the MRCTV’s The Brittany M. Hughes show.
“Happy tax day everyone!” blasted conservative commentator Nick Sortor via Twitter.
Happy tax day everyone!
Just a reminder: the US government wastes $247 BILLION in taxpayer money each year in “simple payment errors” alone, per GAO
$2.4 TRILLION lost over two decades! @RandPaul exposed the fact that billions more are being wasted each year on things like:…
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) April 18, 2023
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., claimed in a 2021 report that the federal government wasted billions in taxpayer money each year. His report included a Department of Homeland Security-led program that paid $17 million in unused hotel rooms for undocumented migrants between April and June 2021, the Washington Examiner noted.
There is little information on how to best solve this costly issue because the government doesn’t understand its own functions, the watchdog agency said.
“Improper payments—payments that should not have been made or were made in the incorrect amount—have consistently been a government-wide issue despite efforts to identify their root causes and reduce them,” the agency said. “In fact, the government still doesn’t fully understand the size of federal improper payments, partly because it doesn’t have complete, reliable, or accurate estimates.”
Read the full “Improper Payments” by the Government Accountability Office here.