The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) testified before Congress to describe the breakdown of over $100 billion of improper federal payments in 2013. Such errors included tax credits for those not entitled to them, unnecessary Medicare payments, and unemployment benefits for “under the table” workers, among others. Shockingly, these types of monumental errors are generally repetitive and have topped $100 billion in each of the past five years.
The government notes that the current amount is less than the $121 billion peak in 2010 and that improvements have been made. However, the GAO testified that it’s likely the amounts reported are actually understated, since not all agencies or programs reported their errors.