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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Give it back!

Well, thank God for presidential parsimony. And here I thought government spending was out of control:

President Barack Obama will sign legislation today to limit erroneous payments by the government and announce a new goal of reducing improper payments by $50 billion before 2012, a White House official said.

The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act will help limit improper payments to individuals, organizations and contractors, according to the administration official. The White House said that in 2009 a record of almost $110 billion was paid by the government to the wrong person, in the wrong amount or for the wrong reasons.

That means Washington might make only $60 billion in "improper payments" next year!

I wonder how they'll decide which improper payments to collect on and which just to let go. According to the story, $180 million was paid in the passt three years to people who had died; maybe they'll just try to recoup from the recent dead, you know, grandfathering in the long deceased. More than $230 million was paid to about 14,000 fugitives or people in jail. I think it would be fair at least to get the money back from the felons, don't you think? The misdemeanants have probably suffered enough already.

This is the government that thinks it can add 2,500 pages of regulations on the financial segment with no unitendended consequences.