According to a report released by watchdog group the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Monday, $35.9 million in farm subsidies has been paid to dead people.
The report claims that agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) paid considerable amounts of money to deceased individuals. The GAO believes that the Risk Management Agency paid $22 million in farm subsidies and allowances to 3,434 individuals that had been dead for two or more years. The GAO also cites the Natural Resources Conservation Services as having paid $10.6 to dead people. Finally the GAO reports that the Farm Service Agency paid thousands of deceased people a total of $3.3 million, reports ABC News.
“Not only are unlimited crop insurance subsidies flowing to the largest and most successful farm businesses, they are now going to deceased policyholders,” Scott Faber, vice president of the Environmental Working Group, told The New York Times. “This irresponsible use of scarce taxpayer dollars reinforces just how broken the system is.”
The Agriculture Department disagrees with the report. Instead it claims that both the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency have procedures in place that allow them recognize when a participant has passed away, reports ABC News.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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