September 15, 2011

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Food Stamps: A Microcosm of Out-of-Control Government’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:14 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Saturday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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Left on the cutting-room floor: On the fraud front, the following Dayton Daily News excerpt expands on the point made in the column about the widespread “loss” of food stamp cards, except that the headline doesn’t really require a question mark –

Is Ohio replacing food stamp cards being sold or traded for drugs?
More than 200,000 electronic food stamps annually replaced by Ohio

In the last two years, nearly 51,000 electronic food stamp cards were reported stolen or lost in the Miami Valley area, reflecting a larger statewide trend of Ohio annually replacing more than 200,000 cards to recipients.

Authorities said the extent of food stamp abuse and the financial impact in Ohio is unknown because the activity often goes undetected. But they fear the behavior is widespread, and say that many cards are being trafficked or misused, resulting in the waste of taxpayer dollars.

One of the 26,224 electronic food stamp cards reported lost or stolen in the Miami Valley area last year belonged to Timothy Slusher’s sister. Slusher, 31, of Dayton, told the Dayton Daily News he illegally sold his sister’s Electronic Benefit Transfer card, or food stamp card, to a small store in exchange for $120 in cash — a common method used to defraud the assistance program.

The state replaced 485,880 food stamp cards that were reported stolen or lost in 2009 and 2010, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Of these, about 50,950 belonged to residents in Butler, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties.

Ohio had 2.07 million active food stamp accounts in the last two years, including 211,275 in the five-county region. This translates into the state replacing one-quarter of EBT cards given to recipients.

… From January to April of this year, Ohio paid out about $986 million in food stamp reimbursements to grocery stores and other businesses that sell food products, according to the state. (Note: That’s an annual rate of just under $3 billion per year. — Ed.) On average, about 113,300 residents in Butler, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties received food stamp assistance each month in 2010.

That there is widespread fraud is drop-dead obvious. Do people using other forms of plastic (credit cards, debit cards, gift cards) lose 25% of such cards in any given year? Of course not. The guess here is that it’s less than 5%. So it would appear that over 20% of Food Stamp cards are being used for transactions not involving food. Multiply that against Ohio’s annual food stamp expenditure of almost $3 billion, and that’s $600 million or more lost to fraud — even before looking at people receiving food stamps who really shouldn’t be because the program’s eligibility requirements have become too loose, allowing those with adequate resources to get through bouts of unemployment to qualify.

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3 Comments

  1. Department of Chaos,(not really Justice anymore)

    http://dad29.blogspot.com/2011/09/department-of-justice-chaos.html

    We live in interesting times.

    Some claim that Obama is an incompetent boob who was in over his head the moment he finished taking the oath of office. Others (myself included) are inclined to believe that he is very competent, indeed, and that overtly or not, his objective has been to foment and promote chaos in the country.

    Chaos is the friend of revolutionaries.

    One excellent way to effect chaos is to subvert the rule of law. Obozo has used executive orders and regulatory schemes to do so (see the new policy on illegal alien enforcement and CO2 regs, respectively.) At the same time, Eric Holder has been assiduously and aggressively converting the Department of Justice into a branch of the National Lawyers’ Guild.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/09/15/deep-corruption-at-the-obama-j

    …the scope of the corruption is so large as to defy adequate descriptions, in a single column, of each abomination. The reality is that these Obama/Holder minions at DoJ are dangerous to the very heart of constitutional, republican (small ‘r’) government….

    It’s far, far worse than the Philly voter-intimidation case, much worse than Fast & Furious. Holder is stacking the career-lawyer Justice ranks with far-left ideologues, doing so by violating long-established hiring policy.

    …Of 106 supposedly apolitical hires by the Obama/Holder Civil Rights Division, all 106 are demonstrably, irrefutably leftist activists. Again, these are for “career” slots for which no political bias is supposed to be used to hire them. Simple random distribution would assure than in a center-right country, at least a couple of dozen of these hires would be either right of center or at least apolitical — but not a single one has been anything but a hard-left radical….

    In other words, the Department has been permanently ‘salted’ with fellow-travelers (and I use that term deliberately.)

    …Loretta King, while serving as the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights at the outset of the Obama administration, ordered the resumes of highly qualified applicants to be rejected only because they didn’t have political or left-wing civil rights experience….

    Lying has become the norm in public statements. FOIA is a dead letter to Justice (!!!).

    …Under Richard Nixon, John Mitchell was as corrupt as they come. But that was all for protecting political power. The Holder Justice Department is equally as corrupt, but in worse ways even than Mitchell. Holder’s team is out for raw political power unmoored from the law, of course — but also for hard-leftist ideological ends that undermine the entire tradition of American jurisprudence and legal practice. They are a menace, and they must be stopped…

    Legal positivism is bad enough, and we’ve seen plenty from the time of the Warren Court through (roughly) the middle of GWBush’s Administration.

    Blatant and deliberate undermining and “activist-ization” of the prosecutorial system is another thing entirely. It is deliberate; it is planned; and it will be the cause of much strife, at the very least.

    Comment by Greg — September 15, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  2. Deep Corruption at the Obama Justice Department

    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/09/15/deep-corruption-at-the-obama-j

    Americans should get furious, and fast, about the abuses.

    Start rattling the chains. Start ratcheting up the hue and cry. Fire up the masses. It’s long past time to force mass resignations at, and possible prosecutions of members of, the Obama Justice Department — and, more broadly, of the West Wing itself.

    Forgive all the links, but the scope of the corruption is so large as to defy adequate descriptions, in a single column, of each abomination. The reality is that these Obama/Holder minions at DoJ are dangerous to the very heart of constitutional, republican (small ‘r’) government. Last fall in the Spectator’s print edition I did a broad overview of the problems. In the September issue of The New Criterion, Andy McCarthy does a wonderful job outlining the problems with the Holder department and with other examples of Obamite executive overreach. Of course the Black Panther case, the dismissal of which I (on the Washington Times editorial page) and the Times’ ace reporter Jerry Seper on the news side were the first to report in print (I later discovered that the fabulous Michelle Malkin wrote on it online a day or two earlier), still hasn’t been adequately handled. And the outrageous DoJ blocking of non-partisan elections in Kinston, N.C., solely to benefit the Democratic Party , is now being examined in the courts, with the administration having lost, big, in the latest round.

    More recently, the burgeoning scandal of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running blow-up, already a huge embarrassment for the Justice Department, keeps moving closer to the White House. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, for her part, denied direct knowledge of this dangerous idiocy but as Dexter Duggan reports at the Wanderer (sign-in required), the U.S. Attorney who ran the moronic program, Dennis Burke, has been sponsored throughout his entire career by Napolitano. First he worked for her when she was a prosecutor; then (quoting Duggan), “After Napolitano ascended to the governorship in 2003, her chief of staff was none other than Dennis Burke, who went on to be a senior adviser to Napolitano when Obama made her his secretary of Homeland Security in 2009. Obama, however, soon put Burke into Napolitano’s old U.S. attorney job in Phoenix. Like Napolitano, Burke got the post as a political plum. It was expected the plum would ripen into bigger fruit, as it had for Napolitano.”

    This week, meanwhile, Christian Adams continued Pajamas Media’s mind-boggling series of stories on blatantly illegal hiring practices at DoJ. Please read that linked story, and all the previous stories linked therein. This is amazingly disturbing stuff. Of 106 supposedly apolitical hires by the Obama/Holder Civil Rights Division, all 106 are demonstrably, irrefutably leftist activists. Again, these are for “career” slots for which no political bias is supposed to be used to hire them. Simple random distribution would assure than in a center-right country, at least a couple of dozen of these hires would be either right of center or at least apolitical — but not a single one has been anything but a hard-left radical. Look in particular at the summary of the background of Nicole Ndumele, who in addition to a host of other left-wing causes managed “to find time to co-author a wacky ‘shadow report’ for the United Nations blasting the United States’ efforts to combat race discrimination. The report — titled ‘Unequal Opportunity: A Critical Assessment of the U.S. Commitment to the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ — reads like exactly what it is: a product of the professional racial grievance culture.”

    As I noted a few weeks ago when writing about this scandal, “These people were members of groups like ‘Queer Resistance Front,’ ‘Intersex Society of North America,’ and of course People for the American Way. Their published essays focused on issues such as ‘Genital Normalizing Surgery on Intersexed Infants’ and on arguing that providing material support for terrorism isn’t a war crime. They, or those promoted, have histories of extracurricular activities that include getting arrested at a World Bank protest, going on a hunger strike while chaining oneself to an oak tree and doing advocacy work for ‘the rights of incarcerated native Hawaiians to dance the hula and perform Hawaiian chants and rituals in privately owned prisons in Arizona.’ A large number of them have donated significant campaign funds to Barack Obama, and some to other liberal candidates.”

    Buried in Christian Adams’ latest story on this scandal comes what should be an incredibly explosive allegation: “Worse, Loretta King, while serving as the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights at the outset of the Obama administration, ordered the resumes of highly qualified applicants to be rejected only because they didn’t have political or left-wing civil rights experience. Multiple DOJ sources with direct knowledge of hiring committee practices have confirmed this to me.”

    Where, oh where are the New York Times and the Washington Post? This is a direct violation of the law that these “news” organizations are deliberately ignoring.

    Then there is the continuing failure of systems that are supposed to ensure that military personnel abroad can get ballots cast and counted, which is part of a seemingly deliberate pattern of obstruction by the Obama/Holder Justice Department.

    The Obamites at Justice (and elsewhere in the administration) stonewall and prevaricate repeatedly (with spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler also known for one of the most unprofessional and witchy tempers, along with ongoing lack of truthfulness, that some of us have ever seen in decades of dealing with government public relations officials), and they (again illegally) don’t even comply with legitimate Freedom of Information requests.

    And, of course, their ranks have been filled with an unusually high number of lawyers who considered it pro bono (literally, for the public good!) to represent terrorist detainees held in Guantanamo. When a lawyer or two take up a constitutional issue, it’s one thing; but when a whole department is lousy with such lawyers, one starts to see an ideological identification with detainees as supposed “victims” of the very system of justice and ordered liberty that the terrorists have dedicated their lives to destroying.

    In the weeks before Eric Holder was confirmed as Attorney General, Jennifer Rubin kept up a steady drumbeat of blog posts warning us all what a dishonest, radically leftist problem he would turn out to be. Rubin was absolutely right. Somehow, though, Holder’s dastardliness has outstripped even the stern warnings Rubin issued. Under Richard Nixon, John Mitchell was as corrupt as they come. But that was all for protecting political power. The Holder Justice Department is equally as corrupt, but in worse ways even than Mitchell. Holder’s team is out for raw political power unmoored from the law, of course — but also for hard-leftist ideological ends that undermine the entire tradition of American jurisprudence and legal practice. They are a menace, and they must be stopped.

    Comment by Greg — September 15, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  3. [...] This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — September 17, 2011 @ 8:06 am

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