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Mazzei Minute: 06/24/22

Government does a great job of wasting money and big government wastes a ton of money.

As the printing presses rolled and the U.S. government started shoveling money out the door to literally everyone during the pandemic, I was deeply concerned about the unnecessary fraud and waste that would surely take place.

It turned out worse than I feared. The Wall Street Journal just reported that at least $163 billion of the $873 billion spent on unemployment insurance was spent in error. The Labor Department has even concluded that a significant portion of this spending can be attributed to outright fraud.

Federal investigators have identified large operations that were mounted by criminal groups from China, Nigeria, and Russia. False identities and lies about employment status were used to fleece American taxpayers.

Apparently, the unprecedented increase in employment awards that kept workers from returning to their jobs made for a lucrative target for criminal fraudsters.

Hopefully, Congress will pass a bill authored by Rep. James Comer that incentivizes each state to uncover fraud by letting them keep up to 25% of the federal funds recovered. The states should then send rebate checks back to the taxpayers who unwittingly financed criminals overseas.

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