National Debt Clock

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Government Wastes $98 Billion in Taxpayer Dollars in 2009

More than $98 billion in taxpayer dollars spent by government agencies was wasted, much of it on questionable claims for tax credits and Medicare benefits, representing an increase of $26 billion from the previous year.

In all, about 5 percent of spending in federal programs in fiscal year 2009 was improper, according to new details of a government financial report that were released Tuesday. Saying the overall error rate was similar in 2008, officials attributed the $26 billion jump to some changes in how to define improper spending as well as an increase in overall spending due to the recession.

In the fiscal year 2009, which just ended Oct. 1, the U.S. government wasted $98 billion on “improper payments.” That’s their euphemism for money flushed down the toilet due to fraud, misdirected reimbursements, duplicate payments or money that was simply lost — not lost as in, “I lost money on that stock,” but lost as in, “I had a million dollars and now I don’t know where it is.”

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