Special: Stimulus boondoggle filled with fraud, abuse

 

Fraud and abuse weigh down stimulus package

As Congress and the White House weigh another round of stimulus spending, they do so in the face of questions about whether the hundreds of billions of dollars spent so far have been worth it, not to mention mounting evidence that the programs have been subjected to rampant waste and fraud.

Only a fraction of the $757 billion stimulus has been spent since the bill was signed into law more than eight month ago, and it has yielded few jobs for the money, with even the most optimistic figure provided by the White House giving each job saved or created a $92,000 taxpayer price tag. Other estimates of per-job expenditures are much higher.

The $10 billion, first-time homebuyer tax credit, which the Senate last week voted to extend until May, is riddled with fraud, according to an audit, in part because the Internal Revenue Service does not want to require homebuyers to provide verification showing that they are qualified for the $8,000 credit.

Voters are starting to question the worth of these expensive initiatives. A Rasmussen Reports poll last month found just 29 percent of U.S. voters wanted a second stimulus, while 62 percent were opposed to it.

sferrechio@washingtonexaminer.com

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