THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Who pays? What a naive question.
How best to use the nGram?

Incompetence is not a bug, it's a feature

Dead federal retirees paid $120 million yearly, report says - The Federal Eye - The Washington Post.

Just to hammer home my point that it's not the character or intelligence of public sector employees that - for the most part - I question. It's the whole concept of big government itself and all the Milton Friedman Category IV spending it involves. The good old US of A is (of course) no better in this respect - for all its entrenched religiosity and superior financial education;

In one dramatic case, a deceased annuitant’s son continued receiving federal benefits until 2008 — 37 years after his father’s death. OPM [the federal government's Office of Personnel Management] learned of the improper payments — which exceeded $515,000 — only after the son also died. The agency never recovered the payments.

I do not seek to detract from the son's crime. The government might have sent him the cheques in error, but he cashed them in sin. But seriously. If it were your money, would you have kept paying without ever checking?

Of course, if you are an American taxpayer, it was your money and (by the agency of your public servants) you did. Just like British taxpayers bought six billion pounds' worth of military equipment which our public servants (at best) lost, (at worst) sold to the enemy or (most likely) some combination of the two.

I am sorry, but this kind of thing is not a glitch to be ironed out in the model. It is the model. Big government trashes lives by locking good people into unproductive work financed by extortion from the productive work of others. How many decades of this nonsense will it take before belief in the intrinsic moral superiority of government action dies?