If you’re not very confident in government competence to begin with, this story should add fuel to that fire:
Investigators say the Internal Revenue Service may have delivered more than $5 billion in refund checks to identity thieves who filed fraudulent tax returns for 2011.
They estimate that another $21 billion could make its way to ID thieves’ pockets over the next five years.
$5 billion. $21 billion in 5 years if the ID thieves can’t be rooted out prior to sending the checks.
Surely they have a way of doing that. There have to be simple checks like, oh, I don’t know, an address getting more than one return hoisting a red flag maybe? Or maybe a single bank account receiving more than one return?
For example, investigators found one single address in Michigan that was used to file 2,137 separate tax returns seeking a total of more $3.3 million in refunds. In other cases, hundreds of refunds were deposited into the same bank account.
Guess not. Guess these new fangled computers and programming security checks are just beyond them (such a system would likely cost much less than $5 billion, huh?).
IRS incompetence costs you $5 billion. Add that to the $60 billion a year in Medicare waste, fraud and abuse, and we’re talking real money. And then just imagine all the other waste, fraud and abuse throughout the rest of the federal government and it isn’t at all difficult to understand why we constantly find ourselves in a deficit situation. Or why government, in the form of the Obama administration is raising taxes on everyone (see ObamaCare and the new Medicare tax) and wanting to raise them on the “rich” segment of the society.
So it can give it away to ID thieves and Medicare fraudsters, among other grifters.
[HT: Jamie Dodge]