Perhaps you've noticed the unemployment rate rising as stimulus dollars continue to go out the government door. How can this be? Weren't those stimulus dollars all supposed to be going to "shovel-ready" projects? No, wait. They were supposed to be going to local and state governments to keep them from laying off teachers and law enforcement personnel.
Where else is it going?
The Social Security Administration admitted today that 1,700 check were mistakenly sent to inmates who were ineligible to receive benefits. While this glitch is only hitting the media today, apparently the error was discovered some time ago.
The Boston Herald reported that the administration is asking for the Massachusetts money back (among other states). But Diane Wiffin, a spokeswoman with the Massachusetts Dept. of Corrections said that her department tried to alert the Social Security staff months ago when it first discovered the checks had been sent to 23 inmates who were ineligible for any benefits. "It was the DOC's opinion that the inmates were not eligible for the payments ...., and we withheld the checks from the inmates at that time and immediately contacted the federal Social Security Administration," she said.
But the administration failed to provide a directive despite several requests, so the department could no longer withhold the checks from the inmates.
No doubt, that stimulus money has been spent on drugs, payments for "hits," cigarettes, bribes, and who knows what else.
While the amounts and the number of checks in this specific instance are relatively small in the large scheme of things, these sorts of SNAFUs seem to be repeated over and over. The more people investigate where are taxpayer dollars are going, the more it is clear that much of the money is being spent unwisely, and in many cases being diverted to people and causes it was never intended for, often going to recipients who have no legal right to any of the funds.
If those same stimulus dollars had been simply divided evenly and sent to every taxpaying American citizen, the effect probably would have been more pronounced and more positive.