FraudIn what can only be described as a stunning anomaly, an Obama stimulus program has paid out billions in fraudulent benefits.

An investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that the Obama administration handed out $5.6 billion in tax credits to people who were not eligible for. http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2015reports/201540027fr.html

The “American Opportunity Tax Credit” provides four years of tax credits for people attending school full-time.

The report finds more than two million people received more than $3.2 billion in credits despite not providing any documentation they attended school.

Another 1.6 million people received approximately $2.5 billion in education credits for attending ineligible institutions.

419,827 people received more than $650 million after their four years of eligibility had run out.

427,345 people received approximately $662 million despite attending school less than half-time.

The tax credit was proposed by Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign and was introduced in Congress by Philadelphia Democrat Rep. Chaka Fattah.

It was set to expire, but Democrats used the “fiscal cliff” crisis to slip in language extending the credit to 2017.

“This partially refundable tax credit was established as part of the stimulus, but unfortunately, as today’s report shows, the IRS has only succeeded in stimulating waste,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate’s Finance Committee.

“The findings of today’s TIGTA report once again spell trouble for the IRS and call into question their ability to properly administer the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC),” said Hatch.

In a statement to Congress, the IRS said the widespread fraud occurred because their budget is too small.

“Funding limitations have severely hampered our efforts in this and other compliance areas…We simply do not have enough resources to audit every questionable credit,” said the same agency that routinely audits Americans critical of the Obama administration.

The agency has also claimed that IRS laws are so complex that the IRS does not understand them.

“IRS efforts in this area are hampered by the complexity of laws affecting education credits,” the statement read.

Not only is the program riddled with fraud, a recent economic study found that the tax credits are a shaky public investment.

“If every increase in the generosity of the higher education tax credits is offset by a corresponding decrease in financial aid, we would expect the credits to have few or no effects on college,” the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reports in “The Returns to the Federal Tax Credits for Higher Education.”

“The tax credits would serve merely as a transfer to state governments and private philanthropies that would have provided the aid,” reports the NBER.