Blergh. Obviously, when gigantic bureaucracies with many moving parts are regularly engaged in doling out billions of dollars worth of ‘free’ money to millions of people, there’s bound to be a certain level of waste/fraud/abuse — but that doesn’t make the actual amount any less galling.

The federal government and states overpaid an estimated $14 billion in benefits in fiscal 2011, or roughly 11% of all the jobless benefits paid out, according to reports from the U.S. Labor Department.

Of the states, Indiana was the worst offender, making more improper payments than it did correct ones. …

But of the overpaid funds, most end up in the hands of three types of people: Those who aren’t actively searching for a job, those who were fired or quit voluntarily, and those who continue to file claims even though they’ve returned to work. Any of those circumstances would make a person ineligible for benefits.

The overpayment typically results from an administrative error made either by the government, the employer, the worker or a combination of the three.

In much rarer situations, people deliberately defraud the system, using fake documents or identities. Common scams involve prison inmates, illegal immigrants or even the deceased.

Hey, remember President Obama’s 2008 campaign-promise to drastically cut down on waste/fraud/abuse in the federal government? The government is apparently working on a campaign to recover some of those squandered funds, but the historical average for getting our money back is typically only about one fourth of those “recoverable” funds, according to the CNN article. …I won’t hold my breath hoping that the Vice President Biden-led “Campaign to Cut Waste” will surpass expectations.

By the way, if the government can acknowledge that there are active schemes out there that use deceased/jailed/illegal people to cheat the governments out of public funds, why should it be such a stretch that there are similar schemes in place to commit voter fraud? Instead of taking any interest in combating the widespread instances of voter fraud, the Justice Department is instead busily and wholeheartedly combating “racist” voter ID laws — do you think the fact that voter fraud tends to benefit Democrats could have something to do with it?