Why Government Policies Matter

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article detailing some of what is happening on our southern border.

The article reports:

More than 600 children were “recycled” through the border over the last year, including some who were carried across eight times, by a different person each time, looking to exploit lax policies to gain a foothold in the U.S., a top ICE official told Congress on Wednesday.

And those are only cases that were detected, officials said.

The recycled children are one of the more disturbing aspects of illegal border flow over the last 12 months, which set records for the number of children and families who snuck into the U.S.

The families were drawn by a lax policy, imposed by a federal court, that gives adults a quick release into communities as long as they brought a son or daughter with them.

The result was massive levels of fraud, with adults renting or outright buying unrelated children in order to present themselves as a family, authorities said. In some cases it was a one-off, but in other instances children were “recycled” across the border multiple times, said Derek N. Benner, acting deputy director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Note that the policy in effect was imposed by a federal court–it was not legislated and it was not instituted by the President. The Founding Fathers did not envision a country where a federal court could overrule a President. They envisioned a country where Congress would take up the responsibility given to it to make laws that protect our borders and secure our country.

The article concludes:

Also Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new policy that would block asylum-seekers from being granted work permits until after they win their asylum cases.

The goal is to remove one of the incentives for bogus family claims. Under current policy migrants who demand asylum and clear the first hurdle can get work permits after a waiting period, giving them a chance to deepen ties even though the majority end up being deemed ineligible for asylum.

“Illegal aliens are gaming our asylum system for economic opportunity, which undermines the integrity of our immigration system and delays relief for legitimate asylum seekers in need of humanitarian protection,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director at USCIS.

How Much Of Our Tax Money Is Wisely Spent?

On Sunday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about fraud in the government’s food stamp program.

The article reports:

According to a new report produced by the Government and Accountability Office (GAO), at least $1 billion in food stamp benefits are “trafficked annually,” meaning they are fraudulently used. The extent of the fraud is uncertain, the GAO warns, estimating the abuse of the program could be as high as $4.7 billion.

About 20 million lower-income households receive benefits from the $64 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, to buy food. But GAO found that instead of being used for food, many stores are defrauding the program by “selling” cash instead of food.

“For example, a store might give a person $50 in exchange for $100 in benefits – then pocket the difference,” GAO explains.

The article explains one possible remedy:

The fraud, known as “retailer trafficking,” costs taxpayers at least $1 billion. However, the real cost could be “anywhere from $960 million to $4.7 billion,” the GAO adds.

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank advocating reform, launched a “Stop the Scam initiative” to raise awareness of the widespread problem.

“Welfare fraud is one of the biggest untold stories of the last decade, robbing resources from the truly needy and eroding public trust in the integrity of our welfare programs,” Sam Adolphsen, vice president of executive affairs at FGA, said in a statement. “While the bad-actor food stamp retailers exposed in this GAO report are in part to blame, we must not lose sight of the accountability that falls upon the food stamp recipient willing to commit fraud and abuse the system.”

The FGA hopes to reduce fraud and abuse at the state level by uncovering discrepancies in each state’s eligibility systems by regularly reviewing their processes.

Public assistance works best when it is closest to the recipient. That way the people providing the assistance know who is in need and who is taking advantage of the program. It also allows those administering the program to spot fraud more easily. Every program in Washington needs to audited for fraud and cleaned up. That alone might make it unnecessary for Congress to raise the debt ceiling every few months.

The article concludes:

Finally, GAO recommended that FNS should “determine the appropriate scope and time frames for reauthorizing high-risk stores,” increase penalties for retail traffickers, and establish performance measures for its trafficking prevention activities.

The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 gave the USDA the authority to strengthen penalties for retailers that commit fraud, but as of November 2018, FNS had not done so.

“By failing to take timely action to strengthen penalties, FNS has not taken full advantage of an important tool for deterring trafficking,” GAO states.

When the GAO confirms what actions FNS has taken in response to its recommendations, it plans to provide updated information to the public, the agency states. It states that the FNS generally agreed with its findings.

The USDA/FNS did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

 

Election Fraud Is Different Than Voter Fraud

The program listed below is archived at cctaxpayers.com.

 

Sunday at 11 am and 8 pm, Wake-up Call is broadcast on WTKF 107.1. This week’sl broadcast will feature a discussion with Major David Goetze (Ret.).  Major Dave served in the Military Police of the U.S. Army as an investigator dealing with computer data. Major Dave has closely examined the public records of the 2016 and 2018 elections in North Carolina and found some very interesting anomalies. He will be discussing his findings on Wake-up Call this Sunday. I can promise you that the show will be eye-opening.

The Case For Voter ID

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Study: Voter ID Laws Don’t Stop People Voting.”

The article reports:

Strict voter ID laws do not suppress turnout, a new paper finds, regardless of sex, race, Hispanic identity, or party affiliation.

Requiring photo ID to vote is a hotly contested subject in American political discourse. Proponents argue that it is necessary to insure against fraud and preserve the integrity of the American electoral system. Opponents argue that it will disenfranchise otherwise eligible voters—many of whom would be poor and of color—who are unable to easily obtain ID.

In total, 10 states, ranging from Georgia to Wisconsin, require voters to show ID in order to vote. Seven of those states require a photo ID, and three do not. An additional 25 states “request” that voters display ID, but may still permit them to vote on a provision ballot if they cannot. The remaining states “use other methods to verify the identity of voters,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The new research, from an economics professor at the University of Bologna and another at Harvard Business School, indicates that “strict” voting laws of the type implemented in those ten states do not have a statistically significant effect on voter turnout.

A few years ago, North Carolina tested a voter ID system during a primary election. Turnout was higher than in previous primary elections. The voter ID requirement did not suppress the vote. The system allowed the poll workers to scan the voter’s driver’s license in order to print the correct ballot. Implementing that system allowed the lines to move quickly and resulted in more efficient voting for everyone. The idea that voter ID limits voters is a myth. You need an ID to do a lot of everyday things, so most people have an acceptable form of ID.

The article concludes:

At the same time, the study’s authors use the same data to examine the actual effect of strict voter ID laws on voter fraud itself, and similarly find no statistically significant effect. Using two datasets of voter fraud cases (which represent a cumulative 2,000 proven or hypothesized events over eight years), the study examines the relationship between laws and frequency of measured voter fraud, finding no evidence of a change after implementation.

This finding is naturally limited by the extremely small number of voter fraud cases actually identified: fewer than one per million people per year. It is possible that voter ID laws would be more effective suppressing fraud in a context where it was more evidently prevalent; as is, the authors estimate that the laws themselves only cover about 0.3 to 0.1 offenses per million people per year.

In total, then, the paper suggests that voter ID laws are not suppressive, but also that they do not have much of an impact on elections overall.

“Our results suggest that efforts both to safeguard electoral integrity and enfranchise more voters may be better served through other reforms,” it concludes.

Voter ID will not end voter fraud. It will, however, make it more difficult.

Voter Fraud In Florida

Below is an affidavit regarding the current ballot count in Broward County.

11 03 2016 Chelsey Smith SO… by on Scribd

The affidavit is posted at various places on the intehe rnet. The Gateway Pundit is one of those places.

The Gateway Pundit reports:

Former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp tweeted that there is an affidavit from a Florida campaign worker who states that he/she saw Broward County Elections staff filling out blank ballots!

In a previous article, The Gateway Pundit reported:

Matt Caldwell has followed Gov. Rick Scott’s lead in filing a lawsuit Friday against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in one of the state’s closest races.

The campaign of the Republican candidate for agricultural commissioner sent a news release Friday afternoon announcing that his attorneys filed a lawsuit in the 17th judicial circuit “asking the court to protect the integrity of all ballots and all public records relating to the election for Commissioner of Agriculture.”

Caldwell thought he had edged out a victory in the agricultural commissioner race Tuesday night when he had about a 40,000 vote lead over Democratic candidate Nikki Fried.

But the latest vote count shows Caldwell losing by 3,120 votes to Fried. The difference between the candidates is .04 percent, signaling an automatic recount, and a likely manual recount.

This whole thing should be shut down immediately and those involved arrested and put in jail.  This impacts the entire nation, not just the crooks running Broward County elections.

The election results from Broward County need to be declared invalid. They should not be counted in any Florida race. If anyone complains about their vote not being counted, they should be reminded to choose honest election officials if they want their vote counted. The other solution is to fire everyone involved, charge them with voter fraud, appoint honest people to count the votes, and hold another election.

A Resettlement Program Gone Awry

Yesterday Scott Johnson (one of the regular writers at Power Line Blog) posted an article at The City Journal website. The article was related to some recent events involving large amounts of cash flowing from Minnesota to Somalia.

The article reports:

When it was noted that the carry-on bags of multiple airline passengers traveling from Minneapolis to Somalia contained millions of dollars in cash, on a regular basis, law enforcement was naturally curious to know where the money came from and where it was going. It soon emerged that millions of taxpayer dollars, and possibly much more, had been stolen through a massive scam of Minnesota’s social-services sector, specifically through fraudulent daycare claims. To make matters worse, the money appears to have wound up in areas of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab, the Islamic jihadist group responsible for numerous terrorist outrages.

The article goes on to explain that beginning in the 1990’s, the State Department began sending refugees from the Somalia civil war to be resettled in Minnesota. Minnesota now has the largest population of Somalis outside of Somalia.

The article reports:

As the Washington Times noted in 2015, in Minnesota, these refugees “can take advantage of some of America’s most generous welfare and charity programs.” Professor Ahmed Samatar of Macalester College in St. Paul observed, “Minnesota is exceptional in so many ways but it’s the closest thing in the United States to a true social democratic state.” A high-trust, traditionally homogenous community with a deep civil society marked by thrift, industriousness, and openness, Minnesota seemed like the ideal place to locate an indigent Somali population now estimated at 100,000.

Fast forward to 2015 when the House Homeland Security Committee task force on combating terrorist and foreign-fighter travel discovered that Minnesota led the nation in contributing foreign fighters to ISIS. It gets worse. The refugees masterminded a very lucrative daycare fraud scheme that sent millions of taxpayer dollars to terrorists in Somalia.

The article cites one such example:

The case of Fozia Ali, recently sworn in as a member of the park board of an upscale Twin Cities suburb, is illustrative. Ali’s daycare center in south Minneapolis was suspected of billing the government for more than $1 million of bogus child-care services. According to Special Agent Craig Lisher, the FBI “found records that she was collecting a significant amount of money for a much larger number of children than were actually attending the center.” Ali’s case also had an international component. “We are aware that some of the funds went overseas, what she was cashing out, money from the business,” Lisher noted. He declined to specify the purpose to which the funds were put.

Ali used a phone app to register charges to the Minnesota state government while she stayed at an $800-per-night hotel in Nairobi. She pleaded guilty in March to charges of wire fraud and is serving time in federal prison. But the scam goes well beyond Ali. Though the total loss to the state’s $248 million daycare program remains to be determined, we have a serious case of deceit, obviously. But the real damage, harder to measure, is likely to be to the high-trust values of Minnesota, where newcomers can dupe the natives so easily.

These are not the sort of refugees we need.

Stealing From The Poor To Enrich The Rich

This is a screenshot taken from the Observer:

bankstatementThe article reports:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.

The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

…“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the fraud specialist explained. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.” The source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over 10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign “varies” but the bank usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1,200 per day.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The repeated charges to Mrs. Mahre are not an isolated incident. It is totally amazing to me that with the amount of money the Clintons have amassed through questionable dealings involving the Clinton Foundation they would feel the need to obtain campaign funds dishonestly. There seems to be a pattern in the actions of the Clinton family.

A New Twist On The Amnesty Story

Judicial Watch posted a story yesterday about the federal government uncovering a criminal ring of illegal immigrants that used stolen identities to defraud the U.S. government out of $7.2 million in tax refunds.

The article reports:

The mastermind of this sophisticated operation is a resourceful delinquent in Frankfurt, Delaware who runs a landscaping and cleaning business called “Las Tres Mujeres” (the three women in Spanish). Her name is Linda Avila and she’s admitted in federal court that she filed more than 1,700 fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using stolen identities assigned to migrant workers—mostly from Mexico—living in the U.S. illegally.

Avila altered W-2 forms with white out to cover up the names, social security numbers and addresses then wrote in other names and addresses to create the fraudulent returns, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement. Foreign dependents were often added to increase the refund amounts. The IRS then cut refund checks ranging from $4,000 to more than $7,000, according to the feds. Avila provided the illegal aliens fake identification documents so they could cash the IRS refund checks. The illegal alien migrant workers kept a small fee and gave most of the money to Avila.

When federal agents searched Avila’s home in Delaware they seized about 17 boxes of fraudulent tax records, according to the DOJ document outlining the case. Templates for fraudulent W-2 forms and identification documents were also found on her computer. The records included copies of approximately 1,754 tax returns filed between 2008 and 2014 for tax years 2004 through 2013. The total loss to the IRS based on the fraudulent returns is approximately $7.2 million, federal authorities estimate.

Back in July a federal grand jury in Norfolk Virginia indicted Avila on charges of conspiracy to make false claims, mail fraud and false claims against the United States. On November 17, the same week Obama issued a long-anticipated administrative amnesty, Avila finally pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and mail fraud. She faces three decades in prison and remains free pending sentencing on February 17. The feds have not disclosed if her illegal immigrant partners in crime will be charged.

Let’s close the borders, change the immigration laws to let the people who have been waiting patiently in line come in, investigate the activities of the people who are here illegally, and decide which of the people who are here illegally will be an asset to America.

An Invitation To Fraud

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about fraud in ObamaCare. Because of the way ObamaCare is designed, there are ways that people can sign up using fictitious identities and not be immediately discovered.

The article reports:

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says its undercover investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts. The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony documentation.

The agency’s findings are contained in testimony to be delivered at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday. An advance copy was provided to The Associated Press.

Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO audits and investigations, will also testify that there’s still a huge backlog of applications with data discrepancies, even though the administration has resolved some 600,000 cases.

The article lists some of the findings of the GAO:

  • Contractors processing applications for the government told the GAO that their role was not to ferret out potential fraud.
  • Five of six bogus phone applications went through successfully. The one exception involved an applicant who refused to provide a Social Security number.
  • Six online applications were snagged by an identity checking system. But investigators just dialed a call center and all six were approved. That seemed to be an open pathway to coverage.
  • The GAO also tried to check the reliability of counselors providing in-person assistance. In five out of six cases, investigators were unable to get help. In the final case, the counselor correctly told the undercover investigator that their stated income would not entitle them to subsidized coverage.

This is what happens when you have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.

 

Avoiding Responsibility As A Way Of Life

Hot Air posted an article today about General Motors’ return to bankruptcy court. Yes, you read that right. General Motors has returned to bankruptcy court to request that Judge Gerber enforce the liability shield it constructed during its 2009 Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. What General Motors wants is to insure that any lawsuits dealing with the ignition switch defect can only be brought against the Old GM shell.

The article reports:

There are at least 59 potential class-action lawsuits in the works seeking economic loss damages, but to get them, they will have to unwind the liability shield somehow.

One way to do that would be to demonstrate that GM had committed fraud by concealing the ignition switch defect before the bankruptcy. Another potential avenue would be to establish that the bankruptcy shield had denied the plaintiffs due process by depriving them of their day in court now that the ignition switch defect has been made public.

The court proceedings mark the sixth ongoing probe of GM, following investigations launched by Congress, an undisclosed state attorney general, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the SEC, and the NHTSA. GM also has an internal probe trying to determine who knew or should have known about the problem that has claimed at least 13 lives and cost GM car owners millions of dollars.

There are some real questions about who knew about the ignition problem and when they knew, but the bankruptcy proceedings of General Motors were not your ordinary bankruptcy proceedings from the beginning. Taxpayers lost nearly $10 billion in the bailout (see rightwinggranny.com). The rules of bankruptcy were not followed, and essentially the company was turned over to the unions. Evidently the unions had no more regard for the safety of the average American than did the corporate executives.

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Would Taxpayer Money Flow So Freely If The Taxpayers Were In Charge Of Spending It?

Yesterday I posted an article about the number of dead people collecting welfare benefits in Massachusetts (rightwinggranny.com). Well, it seems as if Massachusetts is not the only state that can’t keep track of where welfare dollars are going.

Yesterday the New York Times reported that prisoners in New Jersey had erroneously received welfare benefits.

The article reports:

Over a 22-month period, New Jersey paid nearly $24 million in unemployment, welfare, pension and other benefits to 20,000 people who did not qualify for them because they were in prison, according to a report from the state comptroller released on Wednesday.

…Some of the people in prison — those whose Medicaid benefits were paid out to managed care organizations, for instance — may not have been aware they were defrauding the state. In other cases, the fraud seemed deliberate; in addition to the $24 million in benefits improperly paid out, the audit found that 13 state employees had used sick leave to cover their time in prison. (The report said this resulted in “relatively immaterial amounts of improper payments.”)

One of the questions that immediately comes to mind when I read that last paragraph is, “What were the state employees doing in prison and how long were they there?” Can you imaging anyone in the private sector having enough sick leave to cover a prison term?

I think we can safely conclude at this time that the ‘safety net’ is broken. It’s not broken because it is not helping people who genuinely need it–it is broken because it is subsidizing lifestyles of people who do not need or deserve to be subsidized.

I suspect that what has happened in Massachusetts and New Jersey regarding welfare payments going to people who were either dead or not entitled to them is only the tip of the iceberg. We have people in this country working hard, scrimping to get buy, and being taxed to death to support fraud. It’s time we held states accountable for how they spend taxpayers’ money. If a state is not doing a good job, it’s time to elect new officials. Voters need to pay attention and take a stand.

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How Much Of Our Tax Dollars Goes To Fraud

Newsbusters posted a story today about numbers released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve last week on unemployment fraud. Their research found $3.3 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims in 2011.

This is a chart from the article:
Scarier still, there were people in this country making in excess of $100,000 a year that received unemployment benefits in 2011:

Considering the media’s panic over $85 billion in supposed sequestration cuts, you would think they’d be interested in this.

The only media that covered this were the Wall Street Journal on Friday and a Huffington Post on Sunday.

It seems to me that this is something that American taxpayers might be interested in. Not only do we have a spending problem, we also have a dishonesty problem.
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Why The Government Is Broke

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article about the Pigford Settlement. I have written about the Pigford Settlement before, you can use the search engine on this site to find the history of the program. Briefly, the Pigford Settlement was a $4.55 billion program signed into law in 2010 that provided $3.4 billion to American Indian tribes for past royalties from oil, gas, and timber extraction from their lands and $1.15 billion for AfricanAmerican farmers who said they have been unfairly denied federal loans and other assistance.

Breitbart.com reports:

On December 7, 2012, the United States Government Accountability Office released report number GAO-13-69R, also known as “Civil Rights: Additional Actions in Pigford II Claims Process Could Reduce Risk of Improper Determinations.”

In English that means that a lot of people receiving money in the Pigford Settlement may not actually be legally entitled to it.

The GAO report states:

For example, by the terms of the settlement agreement, most claims must be evaluated based solely on the information submitted by the claimants and, as a result, the adjudicator of these claims has no way of independently verifying that information.

Wow! Free money. Just like your Obama phone.

The article concludes:

Let’s go slowly through that paragraph. There are three main points it makes:

  1. “By terms of the settlement agreement” shows the fraud is baked right in. This is a feature, not a bug.
  2. “most claims must be evaluated based solely on the information submitted by the claimants” means that a majority of claims are judged based only on statements by the person who stands to collect a $50,000 check.
  3. “adjudicator of these claims has no way of independently verifying that information” means that there’s no way for the person judging the claim to check for fraud.

In other words, the lawyers and politicians who designed Pigford gave people judging a claim’s validity no objective way to determine whether it is actually fraudulent or not; they have to accept the claimant’s statement as truth. In a government payout program whose architects anticipated some level of fraudulent or duplicate claims, no one included oversight against such a contingency.

These are American taxpayer dollars that are being spent. I don’t want to see anyone’s taxes raised until the government is held accountable for the money it is already spending. I suspect we could come very close to balancing the budget just by taking out the waste and fraud. Let’s do that before we take more money away from the people who actually legally earned it.

 

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