Today I'm reading the story about prisoners in NJ collecting millions in food stamps, medicade and other government benefits.
NJ Comptroller Matt Boxer said. "Our audit identifies simple but critical steps that will help ensure that tax dollars spent on these programs are reserved for those who actually qualify for benefits." Boxer blamed gaps in oversight. For example, state agencies administering the public assistance programs failed to review county and state inmate data before awarding government benefits. Boxer said the departments responsible for administering each of the programs have vowed to recover the misspent money and to cross-check inmate data.
Riiiiight. Good luck getting money back from prisoners. They already spent it and the only way they could pay you back is if they figure out another scam they can run on the government that will pay them while they're in jail. And yes the scam started once they were in jail. One guy didn't even apply till he was already 3 months into his sentence. The largest check was for $37,000 to a guy convicted of raping a child. Think about how easy it must be to scam the government if a convicted child molester can get them to send him $37,000?
Now if it's just you and I and couple of other folks handling these agencies it's really easy to make sure prisoners don't get checks. Once they're convicted, you put a flag on their social security number and all checks cease and any future applications are halted till that sentence is up. But it's not a couple of folks. It's not a couple of thousand folks. It is millions of people who work at these government agencies. Federal government adds another 40,000 employees a year according to CNN. Local and State governments have been downsizing during the same period. Because at the local level voters see the results. National is just too big for most to get their heads around it.
Question. Why aren't agency heads rewarded for streamlining systems that would allow the staff and budgets shrink? Currently the more employees you oversee the more money you make! Which has all the logic of a weight-loss plan offering more desserts the heavier you get. The incentive in both instances is to get fatter!
Medicaid gets punked out of an estimated 48 billion dollars a year in fradulant claims according to the Government Accountability Office. In 2011 they spent 2 billion more to recover 4.1 billion. Of course spending 2 billion to get 4 billion is a good idea. A better idea would be to not lose 48 billion to begin with. Medicare looses another 90 billion to fraud annually. Con artists have figured out that the biggest sucker in America is the tax payer.
Yes we are the suckers. Because we have the power over our government and yet we continue to allow this system to operate. Human nature dictates that people have to be motivated by something. Power, money, love something. Most people who run corporations or agencies love money and or power. So have Congress change the way these executives are compensated. They should be bonused on how much money they save us the taxpayer, annually! Those savings can come from creating more efficient systems that allows us to downsize our workforce, or by downsizing the amount of fraudulent payments we make. Government continues to swell because people are compensated for growing it. Reverse that plan and the results will reverse with it. Because what we're doing now is insane.