Opinion: State jobless agency squandered tax dollars on fraudulent payments, mistakes

Jason Wentworth and Steve Johnson

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when most people were busy with family, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration quietly released an independent report showing her Unemployment Insurance Agency lost a staggering $8.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to fraud during the pandemic.

The figure, stunning as it is, does not even fully take into account the $3.9 billion already paid out to the wrong people when the state mishandled federal COVID assistance.

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