The Inconvenient Truth About COVID-19 Relief Scandals

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Posted: Jun 23, 2022 12:01 AM

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Raise your hand if you’re surprised that the trillions of dollars spent on COVID-19 relief gave way to billions of dollars in government waste, fraud and abuses. I’m not, but based on recent reporting, you might think this type of carelessness with taxpayers’ money has never before happened. Sadly, such waste and fraud are normal byproducts of most government programs.

Too much focus on waste and fraud misses a more important problem: Lots of the COVID-19 spending that doesn’t qualify as wasteful or fraudulent was nonetheless misspent.

When the pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, people all over the country panicked. Everyone seemed to agree that the right thing to do was pump the nation full of as much money as possible, as fast as possible. As a result, nearly everyone — married, unmarried, employed, unemployed, through businesses small and large — got cash through the $2 trillion CARES Act.

Some people did raise the potential for fraud. We were told that

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