Obama promised to cut waste and fraud from the government. It looks like another one of his failed promises. $125 billion in improper payments went out in 2010. Must still be Bush’s fault?
(CNSNews.com) – At a time of growing concern about government spending, the federal government made $125 billion in “improper payments” in fiscal 2010, more than eleven times the total 2010 spending by the U.S State Department.
The $125 billion in improper payments was also more than 7 times the total spending by the Justice Department or by NASA, which runs the U.S. space program, which is preparing to launch its last-ever shuttle flights.
Federal agencies reported improper payments estimated at $125.4 billion in fiscal year 2010, an increase of $16.2 billion from the $109.2 billion estimate in fiscal 2009, the Government Accountability Office said. Ninety-four percent of those payments came from social spending programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, GAO said in its April 15 report.
According to the U.S. Treasury, total State Department spending was $11.017 billion in fiscal 2010–or less than 1/11th the amount the government made in improper spending. The Justice Department spent $16.6 billion during the year, and NASA spent $17.2 billion.
The GAO defines improper payments as “overpayments, underpayments, and payments that were not adequately documented,” as well as fraud. It also noted that improper payments are not necessarily fraudulent, only that they represent instances where the government did not follow its own internal rules for spending taxpayers’ money.
The $125 billion in improper payments came from 70 different programs across 20 federal agencies. “This estimate represents about 5.5 percent of the $2.3 trillion of reported outlays for the related programs in fiscal year 2010,” GAO said.