EDD Admits $55 Billion Lost in Pandemic… $55 Billion!

  by Thomas Buckley at californiaglobe.com

The California Employment Development Department admits that $55 billion was lost in the pandemic.

$55 Billion.

That’s what the hapless state unemployment agency – the not at all ironically named Employment Development Department – now admits was its “overpayment” amount during the pandemic response.

Zero. Maybe

That’s what the EDD is hoping, due to a recent ruling, to have to pay back.

As this can get a little convoluted, let’s start at the beginning.  

Despite decades of warnings about how woeful the department was, the EDD and its then-chief – Julie Su, the current federal Department of Labor acting chief – was utterly, completely, and absolutely unprepared for the pandemic.

A customer service philosophy of having no customer service, antiquated steam-powered tech, a workforce that is considered a joke even by other Sacramento bureaucrats, dismal politically-driven leadership, and no need to actually be better – to this day it is not clear if anyone was actually fired for the wave of fraud – the EDD was prime for pandemic pilfering.

And pilfer people did.  From rappers to prisoners to global cybergangs, it now appears that at least a very large percentage of that $55 billion “overpayment” was due to fraud.  Technically, as both the EDD, the Department of Labor, and any other government agency will stress, “overpayment” does not automatically mean “fraud.”  It could be missing paperwork, it could be people dying, it could be due to misclassification, or a number of other things.

Again, technically possible, but highly highly doubtful that makes up a sizable part of the $55 billion.

Put it this way:  California has 12% of the nation’s people.  It got 21% of the federal unemployment money.