The Carcass/Convict Kerfuffle

America’s command-and-control supervisor, Barack Obama, hawks the federal government as the answer to all the nation’s problems from job creation to health care reform.   The feeling must be mutual because in 2009 it appears as if government workers had not fully recuperated from the revelry surrounding the historic inauguration of Barack Obama.  In fact, bureaucrats were so tuckered out from screaming “Yes We Can” that 89,000 stimulus checks were sent to the jail-and-coffin bound.

The Social Security Administration’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that $18 million went to 72,000 people who were dead. The report estimates that a little more than half the payments were returned.

The report said $4.3 million went to a little more than 17,000 prison inmates.

The payments were part of the government’s massive economic recovery package enacted in February 2009. Under the law, the $250 payments were sent to about 52 million Social Security recipients and federal retirees.

The situation, though shocking, is not as bizarre as it may seem because what appears illogical to the normal likely makes perfect sense to government.

Truth is, many longsuffering people passed away while waiting years for a “piece of the pie” to arrive in the mail. Dispersing stimulus checks to 72,000 cadavers is a unique opportunity to provide the cynical proof that large inefficient bureaucracies do not allow minor obstacles to impede following through on obligations. Being room temperature or, worse yet, incarcerated should not be an excuse to keep potential recipients from collecting simulative funds or to discriminate based on either pulse rate, or felonious behavior.

If the forthright nature of the federal government isn’t enough to warm the cockles of America’s heart, the Social Security Administration’s inspector general reported that out of the 89,000 stimulus payments more than half were returned totaling a little more than 44,500.  If you exclude the 17,000-prison endowments, which obviously don’t count, it appears as if 27,500 extremely honest people, albeit deceased, somehow managed to find a way to return money to the federal government from beyond the grave.

Dead people returning misappropriated funds-to-sender could provide script material for the President to use to raise public opinion of the unpopular $787 billion bill. Barack could star in an infomercial and share with the skeptical how the startling phenomenon of corpses-with-character, returning unusable checks, is an example of how the stimulus bill actually “stimulated” miracles.

As an aside, although not an insinuation or condemnation, if agencies are unable to determine whether 89,000 people are dead or incarcerated are these same individuals equipped to administer error-free government health care to 300 million Americans?

Probably not, but on the bright side, the jailbird/carcass error actually affected only 17% of the total population of Social Security recipients.  If in the future a similar percentage of slip-ups were made by government employed health care officials and hands-on civil service workers the impact would only affect about a ½ a million people.

Ironically, five hundred thousand health care mistakes has the potential to virtually wipe out the entire population of Washington DC.  Although losing every person in the nation’s capital would be calamitous, such a momentous event would bestow on America the unexpected benefit of fatal errors, healthcare or otherwise, dwindling to practically zero.

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