Government Waste

Agriculture Department Pays Millions to Dead People, Says GAO

Not that they're complaining


The federal government sends an awful lot of cash to people who are six feet underground.

That is the key finding of a Government Accountability Office report released this week that revealed the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent more than $36 million in taxpayer cash to farmers who, because they lack of a pulse, can't actually farm or participate in federal conservation programs.

The federal department sent the money, farm subsidies, conservation payments or crop insurance dollars, between 2008 and 2012, the report reveals.

But, even these numbers could be off. As noted by Bloomberg, the Risk Management Agency, which handles crop insurance, handed out more than $22 million to 3,400 dead farmers in the four-year people, but the GAO couldn't verify that factoid.