The Washington Post is reporting on a successful recovery effort of funds from fraud, waste and abuse in Social Security:
The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, said Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service. The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam….
the Social Security Administration, which has found 400,000 taxpayers who collectively owe $714 million on debts more than 10 years old. The agency expects to have begun proceedings against all of those people by this summer.
Wait, its not reporting on successful recovery of funds that were illegally gained by moochers.
The report is sympathetic to people the government claims collected too many benefits:
In Glenarm, Ill., Brenda and Mike Samonds have spent the past year trying to figure out how to get back the $189.10 tax refund the government seized, claiming that Mike’s mother, who died 33 years ago, had been overpaid on survivor’s benefits after Mike’s father died in 1969.
“It was never Mike’s money, it was his mother’s,” Brenda Samonds said. “The government took the money first and then they sent us the letter. We could never get one sentence from them explaining why the money was taken.” The government mailed its notice about the debt to the house Mike’s mother lived in 40 years ago.
This is what most “waste/fraud/abuse” looks like — minor book-keeping issues. Most of the time there is either a prompt reconciliation, or a decision to let things slide as reconciling would be more costly than eating the costs. So anyone who claims that there are tens of billions of dollars of easy to cut or recover WFA in the federal budget is either a fool, a liar, an innumurate or any and all of the previous.