Oops; U.S. “Overpaid” $14 Bil In Jobless Benefits
Following various reports of jailed convicts and illegal immigrants receiving unemployment checks from U.S. taxpayers, the Obama Administration is admitting that in fiscal year 2011 the government “overpaid” around $14 billion in benefits.
That’s a chunk of change for a nation suffering through a painful debt crisis that’s topped $15 trillion. Like most bloated government programs, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) unemployment benefits— paid by state treasuries and the federal government—is rife with fraud and corruption. Various news reports have speculated about this for some time, but now we have the actual DOL figures to prove it.
It turns out that in one year alone, the federal government and states overpaid about $14 billion in unemployment benefits, according to a DOL report featuring Unemployment Insurance Improper Payments. The eight-page document also includes “strategies to get the rate down.” Evidently the DOL has “an aggressive strategic plan to work with states to control unemployment payments.” This includes “a number of robust strategies,” according to the report.
The bottom line is that the damage has been done, even though—get this—last year’s $14 billion in fraudulent payments was actually an 11% decrease compared to the previous year, according the DOL. That’s why the agency refers to the $14 bil as an improvement though American taxpayers may view it somewhat differently.