Millions in U.S. farm subsidies go to dead farmers

Millions in U.S. farm subsidies go to dead farmers

Obama nose upIt was either Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin (or Daniel Defoe) who said, “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” Whichever sage was responsible for that great quote might have added “and farm subsidies.”

Citing a Government Accountability Office report, The New York Times noted on Tuesday:

The federal government pays millions of dollars in farm subsidies each year to farmers who have died, because the Agriculture Department lacks the proper controls to make sure the money it sends is going to the right people….

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, which oversees the Agriculture Department’s conservation programs, sent out $10.6 million in payments between 2008 and 2012 to more than 1,000 people who had been dead for more than a year, according to the report.

The Risk Management Agency, which administers the crop insurance program, paid $22 million to more than 3,400 policyholders who had been dead for at least two years. The G.A.O. said that some of those payments might have been made while the farmer was still alive, but that there was no way to know for sure.

Well, isn’t that special?

Not that it is the first time this administration has squandered taxpayer money on the dearly departed. In 2010, a federal program designed to help poor families heat and cool their homes wasted nearly five times as much — $100 million in all — paying the electric bills of people who were dead. In all fairness to the Obama White House, not all of the recipients of the government’s (read: your) largesse had gone to glory. Some were in prison, while others were living in million-dollar mansions.

Later the same year, the Social Security Administration sent out 89,000 stimulus checks, each valued at $250, to people who were dead or serving jail terms. The total cash outlay for that boondoggle? $22,250,000.

But Obama’s necrophilia is not unrequited. In January of 2012, investigative reporter James O’Keefe revealed that the incumbent had received votes in the New Hampshire primary from voters who had died. And even that bombshell paled next to the determination by conservative watchdog group Minnesota Majority that more than 2,800 Minnesotans who voted for Obama in the 2008 general election had previously been flagged by an independent data collection service as “deceased.”

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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