The Biden administration wasted over half a trillion dollars in its first two years due to “improper payments,” according to an audit of federal data conducted by Open The Books.
Data collected by the Office of Management and Budget revealed that at least $528 billion was improperly paid by the federal government in the first two years of the Biden administration, according to a report from Open The Books .The report defines improper payments as “payments that should not have been made or that were made in an incorrect amount.”
“This is a prime example of the institutionalized incompetence of the administrative state,” Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open The Books, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The center-left somehow believes in an elite, scientific, public good to the administrative state, and this report calls the entire paradigm into question.”
During the first two years of the Biden administration, 17 governmental agencies reported improper payments, including the Department of Health and Human Services which paid $286.9 billion, the Department of Labor which paid $97.2 billion and the Treasury Department which paid $51.9 billion, according to the report. The biggest increase in improper payments from the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years were made by the Small Business Administration, which increased improper payments by $36 billion, according to the report.
“Even though this number is large, it’s vastly under-reported by their admission,” Andrzejewski told the DCNF. “The inspector general said that COVID fraud alone amounted to $100 billion.”
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has previously spoken about the rampant fraud present in COVID-19 relief programs. “There are credible reports that $400 billion was stolen through the unemployment security programs during COVID, administered by the Department of Labor,” Andrzejewski told the DCNF.
“Improper spending peaked in 2010 at $242 billion, and decreased over the next several years, until beginning to steadily rise again in the middle of Trump’s administration,” according to the report.
A total of $281 billion was lost due to improper payments in the 2021 fiscal year, which is the highest amount ever recorded, according to the report.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) June 8, 2023
Dead people over the two-year period received $974.3 million in payments from federal retirement services, old-age, survivors, and disability insurance and social security, according to the report. The government has a history of sending payments to dead people, with the Social Security Administration (SSA) paying nearly $42 million to about 500 dead people during the 2018 fiscal year.
Of the $528 billion in improper payments made during the Biden administration, the government has only been able to identify $51.7 billion of overpayments to recapture, with only 45% of those funds being recovered.
“Both parties are to blame. Congress has the power of the purse and is supposed to be auditing and giving oversight to the executive branch since they provide the funds. This falls right on Congress and their toothless ability to hold federal executive agencies accountable,” Andrzejewski told the DCNF.
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