MAY 24, 2011
In the latest outrage involving President Obama’s disastrous stimulus, a federal probe has determined that thousands of companies that got cash under the fraud-infested program have cheated the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.At least 3,700 recipients of stimulus money owe Uncle Sam more than $750 million in taxes, according to a report published this week by the investigative arm of Congress known as the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The recipients got a combined $24 billion in Recovery Act funds, according the probe, which also found that more than a dozen likely committed crimes.The offenders include individuals, businesses and other entities. Examples listed in the report include a security firm that owed more than $9 million in payroll taxes when it got $100,000 in stimulus funds, a healthcare nonprofit that received over $100,000 despite bailing on $4 million in payroll taxes and a construction firm that got around $1 million even though it owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over $700,000.The taxpayer dollars were carelessly disbursed with little scrutiny as part of Obama’s $787 billion plan to jumpstart the economy and put Americans back to work. Instead, the stimulus has been rife with fraud and corruption that’s been well documented in various federal, news and congressional reports. Tens of billions of dollars have gone to wasteful projects, including $5 billion for a “weatherization” program to make low-income houses energy efficient, $20 million to buy road signs claiming the stimulus is “putting Americans back to work” and $3 million for a Florida turtle crossing.Last summer a scathing U.S. Senate report revealed that tens of millions of stimulus dollars went to frivolous projects like international ant research, to study why monkeys react negatively to inequity and a “tunnel to nowhere” in Pennsylvania. The same probe discovered that recovery funds also bought state-of-the-art cell phones for low-income smokers trying to quit, fancy digital music players for high school students in one state and advertising to promote the stimulus.In the meantime, unemployment remains at record highs and the economy has definitely not been revived as Obama promised when he sold Americans on his so-called recovery plan.
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