The most recent example of governmental bungling to hit the news left me both amused and infuriated ... and yet somewhat in awe of the Fed’s creativity, when it comes to throwing away my hard-earned money.
Apparently, over the past five years, our brain trust in Washington has paid out in excess of $600 million in retirement benefits to deceased Federal employees. Mind you, this is in addition to payments doled out to un-retired employees, who only perform as if deceased.
U.S. Inspector General Patrick McFarland was the guy who discovered the financial faux pas and immediately told the Office of Personnel Management that, perhaps, they should, maybe keep a closer eye on where the money goes. You think?
Although it’s tempting to assume that these former-government employees may have simply tried to pull a fast-one over on Uncle Sam, it’s more likely that greedy relatives are actually to blame. After all, it’s hard to fill out those forms port mortem, although with a little help, I suppose it could be possible.
Clerk: This form is blank. I can’t process a blank form. Next!
Nephew: My uncle couldn’t fill it out, he’s disabled.
Clerk: Why didn’t you say so? Okay, let’s fill it out now. Name?
Nephew: John Q. Citizen.
Clerk: Nature of disability.
Clerk: Okay and is he receiving treatment for his disability?
Nephew: I’m afraid it’s chronic.
Clerk: I see. And is he officially registered as being disabled?
Nephew: Not officially, it came on suddenly.
Clerk: Well, now that’s a problem, isn’t it? Unless he’s officially recognized as being disabled, he’ll have to fill out the form himself.
Nephew: I’m not sure he could fill it out, even if he weren’t dead. He’s a former Federal employee.
Clerk: Why didn’t you say so? In that case, he qualifies for a form exemption and will automatically receive a monthly pension plus an incremental disability check, for as long as the condition lasts.
Nephew: I think it may last awhile.
Clerk: I’m sorry to hear that.
Nephew: Thank you, but he seems to be taking it well. No complaints.
Clerk: That’s what we like to hear. Okay, you’re all set.
Nephew: I don’t have to sign or fill anything out for him?
Clerk: Nope. Just tell us where to send the payments.
Nephew: And nobody is going to follow up ... you know, for more paperwork, later?
Clerk: Are you kidding me? Who’s got time?
Nephew: That’s what I like to hear. Thanks for your help.
Clerk: No thanks required, I’m just doing my job.
Nephew: And doing it very well, I might add.
Clerk: Well, you're dealing with the Federal Government here and we’ve got our standards to live up to.
Nephew: I know, that’s what I was counting on.