WASHINGTON, July 11 -
Mr. Speaker, Indiana prison inmate Ryan Greminger collected unemployment benefits during his 2-year sentence in the county jail for a drug crime. He collected $14,000 of taxpayer money. He was in jail, and the government continued to pay him anyway.
Only in America would we pay people in jail because they are unemployed. Greminger should not have obtained money from honest American taxpayers, but he did.
Government is becoming incompetent when it comes to paying unemployment benefits. According to CNN, the Federal Government overpaid $14 billion in unemployment benefits just last year. That means 11 percent of all jobless benefits paid out were not supposed to be paid to those individuals. Those overpayments that should have gone to people in need were sent by government to those who didnít deserve any money. You see, not all payments are to honest people who are looking for jobs and are out of work.
Inmate Gremingerís case is bad, but thereís more.
A convicted killer, murderer, in a California prison was receiving at least $30,000 in unemployment checks. The murderer made sure that his family and friends cashed his checks while he was locked up. So each month, his family fraudulently cashed his $1,600 check, which they would then deposit in his jail bank account. Guess where it went next, Mr. Speaker? He shared the jail money with some of his low-life prison gang members while he was in the joint.
The Federal Government reportedly sent a man $515,000 in payments over 37 years ñ 37 years, Mr. Speaker ñ because he was supposedly unemployed. Thirty-seven years of unemployment benefits for anyone is nonsense to me, but who exactly were they sending that money to in this case? A dead person who died 40 years ago. No wonder he wasnít working, Mr. Speaker; he wasnít around.
We count on our government to spend our tax dollars wisely, but it is inefficiently sending money to those not qualified to obtain taxpayer support ñ prison inmates and dead people.
Fourteen billion dollars is a lot of money in anybodyís book. In the private sector, if a business misappropriated $14 billion, the people in charge would be fired or go to jail, but not so with government agencies. These overpayments and wasteful incompetent spending really doesnít shock or surprise Americans anymore at all. Thereís so much waste of taxpayer money that we have become accustomed to it, and we actually expect government to waste money ñ too big, too wasteful, too incompetent, and too inefficient.
But the real problem is not waste, but the size and inefficiency of government. Weíre moving to a society that I just another European nanny state, where government is bigger, bloated, and contro