The federal government sent about 3,900 economic stimulus payments of $250 each this spring to people in prisons or jails across the US. 1,700 of those checks have been determined to be a bureaucratic blunder. The other 2,200 inmates who received checks were verified to be eligible for the one-time stimulus payment.
The checks were part of the massive economic recovery package approved by Congress and President Barack Obama in February. The federal government processed $13 billion in stimulus payments, of which at least $425,000 has been determined to have been sent in error--to prison/jail inmates--individuals who were clearly not in a position to use the money to help stimulate the economy (which, as it was my understanding, was the whole point of the stimulus package?).
Now officials are asking for the money sent in error to be returned. Well I am certain they have nothing to worry about, after all, prison inmates are such model citizens they wouldn't dare keep the $250 that was erroneously sent to them in SPRING! (In case someone didn't catch on, I was being facetious).
Wes Davis, a regional spokesman for the Social Security Administration in Dallas, was quoted as saying "we're still talking about a relatively small [$425,000] number here."
Perhaps in the grand scheme of things $425,000 can be construed as a "relatively small number," and certainly it is a small percentage of the total $13 Billion that was paid out. But I would wager that virtually any school administrator would tell you that $425,000 can go a long way toward educating children. Even if it did nothing more than buy new text books for students in one or two low economic area schools.
Is this really our tax dollars hard at work?