Viewpoint: September 28, 2011

Two weeks ago, the White House announced an initiative to crack down on wrongful unemployment payments, something they said has cost tax payers $19 billion over the last three years.

And, according to the White House, Louisiana was the worst violator, with an improper payment rate of more than 43 percent. That amounts to nearly a half billion dollars of our hard-earned tax money being doled out to undeserving recipients.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission quickly disputed the White House's findings, saying system upgrades and a crackdown on fraud have cut the error rate in half over the last year. While we applaud these efforts, that still equates to an improper payment rate over 20 percent, more than double the national average.

Imagine owning a business where you found out one out of every five checks you wrote went to someone who no longer worked for you. That shouldn't happen.

We urge the Louisiana Workforce Commission to continue cutting the errors and make sure unemployment checks only go to those who are supposed to get one.