Oops? U.S. Government Cost Taxpayers $247B in Payment Errors in 2022

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

That, my fellow taxpayers, is the sound of gross incompetence. According to a watchdog, the U.S. federal government made a few tiny payment errors in 2022…costing taxpayers $247 billion. Oh, well! Better luck next time!


MoneyWise reported on the information from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Our federal government “reported a whopping $247 billion in payment errors during the 2022 fiscal year,” according to MoneyWise. The Heritage Foundation‘s spending and budget expert, Richard Stern, told CNBC, “The government has just lost, as if you dropped it on the sidewalk, trillions and trillions of dollars over the last few decades. That is money that was stolen from hardworking Americans to just simply get wasted.” Fortunately, I guess, if you’re a government bureaucrat who doesn’t have a conscience to begin with, losing massive amounts of taxpayer money doesn’t bother you.

From the MoneyWise report:

The recently published GAO report indicates $200 billion in payment errors last year were the result of overpayments, while $5.3 billion were counted toward underpayments.

Another $32.7 billion in “unknown payments” were recorded, meaning it’s unclear whether the payment was an error or not. Finally, there were $9 billion in “technically payment errors,” meaning a recipient was entitled to a payment but the payment failed to adhere to rules or regulations.

Payment errors were reported by 18 agencies across 82 government programs. The vast majority of these errors (78%) were made under five programs — Medicaid, Medicare, the Paycheck Protection Program, Unemployment Insurance, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).


Ah, so many unconstitutional programs with which to redistribute Americans’ money incompetently. I guess if you’re a taxpayer who got an overpayment, the news isn’t all bad. If you’re a taxpayer who received an underpayment or funded someone else’s overpayment, you might be reasonably disgruntled. Unless you enjoy sending your hard-earned cash to fund LGBTQ propaganda of children and prolongation of foreign wars. Just another proof that the Founding Fathers were totally right to oppose income tax.

GAO isn’t the only entity to report on billions of dollars of federal waste. Both lawmakers and nonprofits have highlighted the financial problems repeatedly. CNBC quoted Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz on the issue of duplicated programs. “The Government Accountability Office every year issues a report on duplicative and overlapping programs and every year they find more and more of these programs,” Schatz explained. “In the private sector, if somebody is doing something, they see what they’re trying to do or sell and then determine how to do it and how much it will cost. In the federal government, everything is ‘Go spend more money’ and if that doesn’t work, it’s ‘Go spend more money.’” And since government has no money of its own, it needs to take someone else’s money to fund its disastrous “solutions.”


If you thought the $247 billion in waste last year was depressing, CNBC says, “The U.S. has lost almost $2.4 trillion in simple payment errors over the last two decades.”

GAO audits and reports on “wasteful [government] spending,” CNBC noted. It’s too bad that wasteful spending seems to get worse every year. Why learn from the mistakes of the past if one can continue to make the same mistakes into the future?


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