The Obama Administration Is Proud to Announce That It Won't Be Spending Quite As Much Taxpayer Money on Payments to Crooks and Dead People


Outgoing OMB director Peter Orszag gets serious about fiscal responsibility:

Whether it's buying in bulk or reducing the number of improper payments to dead people and crooked contractors, the Administration is committed to instilling a new sense of responsibility for taxpayer dollars by eliminating what doesn't work and cracking down on waste.

I don't want to be too snarky here; obviously, efforts to cut back on the $110 billion spent on "improper payments"—ie: checks sent to crooks, fraudsters, corpses, zombies, scarecrows, department-store dummies, and computer-controlled characters in World of Warcraft—are necessary. But isn't it a little bit embarrassing that Washington cops to blowing this kind of cash on what basically amounts to incompetence? Over a decade, $110 billion a year would more than cover the entire official price tag for the health care overhaul. Yet this kind of waste is business as usual in Washington, so the administration's response comes down to, "Well, we're trying to cut back."