WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) authored this op-ed, originally published in CNBC.
Below are key excerpts from the article, which calls on President Biden to stop the federal government from sending taxpayer dollars to the deceased.
“At a time when the national debt is $27 trillion—the largest it’s ever been—the least we can do is make sure that government relief payments are going to people who need them most.
“Unfortunately, too much of that money is ending up in the hands of fraudsters who capitalize on the deaths of their fellow Americans.”
“The struggle is perennial. In 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sent checks worth $40 million to dead people in Maryland, Michigan, and Texas. Who knows how much more was lost in the other 47 states?
“Sadly, the IRS is very limited in what it can do to claw back improper payments. It can ask politely for the money back, but it’s unlikely that people who mistakenly believe the money is due them or those who are comfortable committing fraud will return the payments.
“Recovering the money legally can be a pricey pursuit in itself, and that process could add to the grief of families who have lost loved ones and now find themselves in a bureaucratic mess of the government’s making.
“President Joe Biden has said he wants to be a unifying president. Well, now’s his chance to make the most of a winning issue. No taxpayer, regardless of party, is likely to support sending taxpayer money to dead people.
“The president has a rare opportunity to act now to fix this problem ahead of schedule, saving billions of dollars over the next few years. Millions of Americans have lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Even in a polarized political climate, we can all agree that government shouldn’t be redistributing wealth to the dead.”
The full op-ed is available here.