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More of Your Tax Dollalrs Down the Proverbial Rathole

At CNS News on Thursday, June 1, Gage Cohen reports the "Department of Education IG Reveals $6 billion in improper payments in 2016." Specifically, the lede paragraph said:

"Department of Education Inspector General Kathleen Tighe revealed to Congress last week that the Federal Student Aid office (FSA) had made over $6 billion in improper payments last year in federal student aid programs."

He continued, writing:

"These improper payments included sending money in the wrong amount, making unnecessary disbursements, and sending payments to the wrong recipients entirely, reported the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.

"There were $2.21 billion in improper Pell Grant payments and $3.86 billion in the Direct Loan program, according to Inspector General Tighe in her May 25 testimony before the House Subcommittee on Government Operations.

"Furthermore, Tighe testified that the Education Department had not yet begun to consider the logistics of how it would “address the root causes of the identified improper payments.”

"James Runcie, the chief operating officer of the FSA and an Obama political appointee, was scheduled to testify at the same hearing but he resigned his position and did not appear at the hearing."

Judicial Watch's May 31, 2017 Corruption Chronicles, which Cohen cites, has additional details. For example, it says Mr. Runcie "got hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses despite his well-documented failures, sources inside the agency tell Judicial Watch. The extra cash was kept off the books, away from the public, and doesn’t appear on his official government salary record but Judicial Watch has obtained the figures with yearly breakdowns." The Corruption Chronicles article ends by saying:

". . . What the public record omits is that, despite his office’s many failures, Runcie got “insane” bonuses, according to one government source who had to dig the figures out of Runcie’s FSA personnel file. Here is the annual breakdown: 2010—$33,535; 2011—$38,350; 2012—$60,000; 2013—$75,000; 2014—$75,000; 2015—$75,000; 2016—$76,000. That means that, while his office was an out-of-control cash cow losing billions of taxpayer dollars to fraud and corruption, Runcie was secretly rewarded with cash bonuses. No wonder he doesn’t want to testify before Congress."

Growls readers are encouraged to take a few minutes to write or call their Congressional representatives. Ask them about the steps they have taken to hold the U.S. Department of Education accountable for the tax dollars they receive. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

And ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.


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