Most of us hope to hold on to some measure of security and dignity if life ever bottoms out. What dignity means all depends on your situation. It is better to live in a hovel than the gutter and better to stand in line at a clinic that accepts Medicaid patients than die from pneumonia in the middle of winter.
There is enough theft of government assistance going on that benefits cheaters don’t need much help, but a new government report shows that some thieves aren’t cheating at all. Instead, they have fallen victim to our overgenerous government not doing its job.
When Washington sends you money you didn’t ask for, what do you do?
Social Security Disability: the money just keeps coming
One of our favorite cash for doing nothing entitlements, Social Security Disability overpaid over $11 billion between 2005 and 2014.
Does progressive tax reform mean an end to government waste, or does it mean more money to spend to make up for what our federal and state bureaucracies lose? Backers of a progressive tax fix for federal and state budgets focus on more revenue for the middle and lower classes. They don’t usually mention that the programs they insist we fund at a rising cost to taxpayers account for a staggering amount of government waste.
If businesses wasted money like the government there would be no private sector. No company could afford to operate. The Federal Government doesn’t have to turn a profit. It can shut itself on and off as funding comes and goes. It doesn’t worry or care about its bottom line as long as Americans are paying taxes and if we don’t pay our taxes, we go to jail.
It’s a lucky thing that Obama’s Affordable Care Act finally gave Washington an excuse to stop losing money to health care entitlement fraud. Look for federal officials to go out of their way to prove to the public that they are delivering what the White House promised, even though they will never tell us why we need new bills and more spending to deal with old problems.
When the president’s “We Can’t Wait” label of desperation was slapped on Federal Government spending lost to waste and fraud,1,2 at least the “We Can’t” part was true. Two years have passed since the fanfare surrounding the passage of the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, a bill the president delivered with this promise:
The bipartisan bill I’m signing today will help ensure that our government serves as a responsible steward for the tax dollars of the American people, and builds on the efforts we’re taking to cut wasteful spending.³
A responsible steward is not what we have.
Like common panhandlers, Democrats have been begging to finance their habits. Granted, the Obama class war is more coercive than what you would expect from your typical urban beggar, but the idea is the same. Out of money and options, Democrats have been hitting up the wealthy for spending money since January 2009. Despite favorable noises from Harry Reid that they might compromise before the end of the year, their search for tax revenue is not over yet.