More Than $98 Billion In Improper Government Payments

A government financial report says government waste in fiscal 2009 is up $26 billion over the previous year. But officials attribute the jump to some changes in how to define improper spending as well as an increase in overall spending due to the recession.

The report says more than $98 billion in taxpayer dollars spent by government agencies was wasted in fiscal 2009, much of it on questionable claims for tax credits and Medicare benefits.

In all, the report says about 5 percent of spending in federal programs was improper, though the overall error rate was similar in 2008.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order within the next week aimed at cracking down on government waste and fraud.

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