Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Pay Dead People

So it seems dead people have been receiving a lot of money from farm subsidies. I hope they didn't spend all in one place.

From the Des Moines Register...

The government paid $1.1 billion in subsidies to 172,801 dead individuals between 1999 and 2005, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Forty percent of the money went to people who had been dead at least three years.

Under federal rules, such payments can be perfectly legitimate so long as the dead farmer's estate hasn't been settled.

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sometimes doesn't know when a farmer dies. Even when it does, the USDA has inadequately policed the estates to ensure the heirs aren't using them as a method to circumvent the limits on payments to big farms, the investigators said.

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