As you may have heard, it was recently reported that the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent out almost 1.1 million stimulus payments totaling $1.4 billion to dead Americans. Naturally, this news did not sit well with many United States citizens. Even comedian Adam Carolla weighed in on the matter, writing on Twitter that the "government is incompetent" for this major mistake.
On Twitter, Carolla wrote that the same government that sent out money to dead Americans is the one that many want "administering healthcare for all, solving racism" and a variety of other issues. He wrote that instead of relying upon the government, people need to get their "own sh— together." Carolla ended his message by writing that the government will not step in the "save" anyone because of its "incompetent" nature. Interestingly enough, Carolla isn't the only prominent figure who has taken to Twitter to lambast the government for this significant error. Days before he posted this tweet, Bette Midler, who has been vocal with her criticisms about the country and, explicitly, President Donald Trump's administration, acknowledged this news on Twitter. She wrote that the Government Accountability Office initially reported the news and added, sarcastically, "Did it work?"
The government that sent 4 billion in stimulus payments to dead people is the same one you want administering healthcare for all, solving racism and getting the economy back. Get your own shit together. The government is incompetent and won't save you.— Adam Carolla (@adamcarolla) June 30, 2020
In late June, the Washington Post reported that the Treasury Department and the IRS sent out 1.1 million checks to deceased individuals as of April 30. Several mistakes were made when lawmakers initially drafted the CARES Act, a stimulus package which entitled eligible Americans to a one-time payment of $1,200. When the CARES Act was being written, the IRS reportedly floated the idea of sending payments to deceased Americans, though "IRS counsel determined they did not have the legal authority to deny payments to people who had filed a return."
The Treasury Department and the IRS were reportedly trying to send out the payments as "rapidly as possible," which is why mistakes were made regarding the stimulus checks. The organizations reportedly used operational procedures that were initially implemented for the 2008 stimulus package. Although, those previous procedures did not include "using [Social Security Administration] death records as a filter to halt payments to decedents." It is unclear whether the IRS has plans to retrieve these payments.