Grapevine: Gov't wasted $125 billion in improper payments

Government Accountability Office is urging agencies to implement corrective actions


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine…

Billions Wasted

The pile of cash shelled out -- improperly -- is staggering.
The Government Accountability Office -- reports waste for 2014 was $125 billion. That’s a $20 billion jump from the year before.
Nearly three quarters of the errors were from Medicaid -- Medicare -- and Earned Income Tax Credit payments.

Government waste is not new news -- especially in the Grapevine.
But it adds up.
This is GAO's graphic of improper payments since 2003 -- when it was $35 billion.
In 2009 -- the total topped $100 billion.
Add it all up since 2003 -- the government has wasted nearly a trillion dollars of your money.

Working the System

Moving from waste -- to fraud.
A Massachusetts woman is pleading guilty to a $3.5 million food stamp rip-off.

From 2010- to 2014 -- convenience store owner Vida Causey --  bought SNAP benefits from customers at half price in cash -- then charged the government for the full amount.
SNAP benefits are only supposed to be exchanged for food.

Besides the charge for fraud -- Causey also faces counts of conspiracy and money laundering.

Underdog Story

Finally -- an upset for the ages.
Three Harvard undergraduates were beaten in a debate -- by three violent criminals from Eastern New York Correctional Facility.

The inmates are part of the Bard Prison Initiative -- which offers prisoners an opportunity to earn a College degree while serving their sentences.

The Wall Street Journal reports-- The Harvard debaters accepted their defeat gracefully-- saying they were impressed by their opponents' preparation-- and unexpected line of argument.